Coach Antonio Conte was overjoyed with the Juventus performance to beat Celtic 3-0 in Glasgow. “I’ve rarely seen a passionate atmosphere like this.”
The Bianconeri have one foot in the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League after this first leg triumph in Scotland.
“It was certainly a very important victory. I personally as a player have been in this competition for many years, but had rarely seen a passionate atmosphere like this,” said Conte.
“At the start the Celtic players went above and beyond their capabilities, but we held out under their pressure. The moment they dropped the tempo a little, we got our goals and created more dangerous opportunities.
“It wasn’t easy to play in that atmosphere, and I can say that as someone who has experienced these things as a player. I couldn’t communicate with the players because it was so loud.
“Every time there was a corner, it felt like the stadium was coming down. The lads deserve praise for getting this result in Glasgow.”
Alessandro Matri had been benched for many weeks, but has now become a regular and scored the opening goal, setting up another for Claudio Marchisio.
“Matri contributed to a fine goal, as it came from a situation we had practiced many times in training. I had to work very hard before being worthy of Juventus. Alessandro is working very hard now and improving in terms of his knockdowns and assists.
“In the first half I told the lads it was dangerous for us to sit too deep, so Arturo Vidal and Marchisio were crucial to push it up and take the defenders with them. I worked a lot on that aspect.”
There were numerous tussles in the penalty area for corners, particularly with Stephan Lichtsteiner.
“We changed something compared to our usual defending, as they had scored 40 per cent of their Champions League goals from corners and set pieces. We were only surprised once with a header over.
“We did pretty well defensively apart from at times in the first half when we went too deep. It was a good performance, we knew Celtic were a good side and they might not be mentioned among the top teams in Europe for many years, but they beat Barcelona and eliminated Benfica and Spartak Moscow.
“I think they were slightly surprised by Juventus, as they expected to get something more on home turf, but we prepared well in defence and attack.
“We had as much possession as they allowed us, because Celtic were going at 100mph and rested all their players at the weekend, whereas we faced Fiorentina on Saturday.”