BLOG ITALIA
Thursday April 11 2013
Bruised Juve bow out

Juventus have been eliminated from the Champions League following a 2-0 second leg defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich. Luca Cetta writes.

Juventus huffed and puffed, but the Bayern wall didn’t come crumbling down. Antonio Conte vowed the team which took the field at the Juventus Stadium on Wednesday would be a different prospect than the one comprehensively beaten a week earlier. ‘Scatenate L’inferno’ – Unleash Hell – cried Tuttosport. And for portions of the second leg, the Bianconeri did pressure the Bavarians. But it wasn’t enough against the slick Bayern machine, who produced a calculated display to earn a 4-0 aggregate triumph. “We certainly played better than the first leg, but Bayern proved they are a very strong side and one stronger than us,” admitted Andrea Barzagli afterwards.

Andrea Pirlo came closest for the home side during the first half, stinging the palms of Manuel Neuer with a free-kick. Juve survived some threatening Bayern incursions, and in the second half the tie was almost put to rest by Arjen Robben. His shot curled off the post, but Mario Mandzukic was not to be denied minutes later.

A set piece whipped into the penalty area was met by Javi Martinez and his parried attempt fell invitingly for the Croat. He made no mistake from close range. At that moment, the majority of the 40,000 in attendance – who lived in hope and had seen Borussia Dortmund snatch victory from the jaws of defeat a night earlier – knew it was over. Claudio Pizarro made it an emphatic triumph in injury time. Bayern qualify for yet another semi-final. Juventus are left to ponder what might have been.

The Bianconeri were dealt a blow with the suspensions of first-choice players Stephan Lichtsteiner and Arturo Vidal from the first leg. Simone Padoin and Paul Pogba stepped in and for the first 45 minutes especially, were excellent. They had chances, Pirlo’s free-kick and a Fabio Quagliarella shot that cracked the outside of the post their best. This was a better Juve from the outset, as Barzagli noted. The Old Lady showed greater comfort in possession, more desire and determination.

But for all the endeavour, there was something lacking. The inferno never truly arrived. That precious first goal to whip the crowd into a frenzy and give Juventus the momentum was sorely missed. Whether a moment of inspiration or luck, it did not fall Juve’s way. The threat of an early Bayern away goal killing the tie loomed. It held Conte’s men back a touch. That and the fact the Bavarians are a quality outfit. After they weathered the initial storm, Jupp Heynckes’ side were proficient with the ball, tactically smart and always in command of the tie.

Pogba underlined the sense of helplessness: “We would have liked to score early but they didn’t let us, they played a great game, so there was nothing we could do, especially after they managed to score.”

Barzagli believes Juventus have a step to climb in order to reach Bayern’s level. Champions League experience, he also notes, played a large part in their opponents success. “We need to improve in order to reach their level and maybe by working hard we can get there. This was our first Champions League in many years, for some of us the first full stop. Bayern have been at this level for five or six years, but we are just dipping our toes in.”

A number of Juve players stepped on to the pitch last September at Stamford Bridge – or in subsequent matches – making their Champions League debuts. The campaign was Conte’s first on the sidelines. The squad and Coach will grow and learn. The core can lead Juventus in seasons to come. They may have bowed out, but the Old Lady will be back stronger following a wholly positive experience in 2012-13.

Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.

Have your say...
@ Mustafaa: "Juve have the best attacking force for the second consecutive season in Serie A."

Maybe so, but it does not translate through Europe. They couldn't score 1 goal in two legs. It was pathetic.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 6:46pm
@ Viktor

Can you learn to zip it once wise guy?

Oh yeah, beating a team who practically played without a coach and had many problems and then losing 4-0, that's better "rep".

Bayern is the best team this year and Juve's strikers were not the problem. The problem is with the guys like you that consider themselves coaches or football fans.

And again a fact for you, Juve have the best attacking force for the second consecutive season in Serie A.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 6:07pm
I would not be too harsh on Conte. This is the first time he's coaching a team in CL, so in a way its a learning experience for him too. Apart from Pirlo, maybe Vucinic to some extent and Buffon, most of the palyers in this team have little to no experience of CL football. So, he's done well to take them this far. There is always next year. It took Barca & Bayern a good few years of rebuilding and spending to get to where they are. Juve is on the right track. They just need time
on the 11th April, 2013 at 5:16pm
Well, Bayern was better and considering the 2 ties we were missing a bit of luck too.
We're out against a top team. It's not a tragedy.
I only regret we didn't manage to score.
We need to grow and we will grow.
It's still a nice season.
Forza Juve!
on the 11th April, 2013 at 5:01pm
Lets face it.. Italian teams stink.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 4:06pm
@JuveFanatico

Fair enough. However wouldn't you rather see someone else upfront then vucinic, quag, or matri? Just to mention a few but, Dzeko, Aguero, Cavani or even tevez or someone like that? Overal as a team, Juve is pretty fantastic compared to previous years but like you mentioned yourself, their lacking the creative part and frankly so is ACM at least in the midfield.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 4:00pm
I keep reading that Juve has no top forward, that Conte was out coached. At the end of the day Bayern was a better team. Even if Juve had a top forward, they need to get the ball. Bayern had closed the mid-field like no other team this year. Conte with the players available did not have much choice. As much as I love Giaccherini and Giovinco, the bigger German side would of canceled them out. The Pepe injury has been a huge impact. Isla has not been able to pick up the slack.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 3:58pm
And people criticize Mazzarri for not having a plan B! Juve are so predictable and got easily found out.

Conte's replacements could be, R. Baggio, A.Wenger or Trappatoni?
on the 11th April, 2013 at 3:56pm
the reasons for this bad day.
1- Bayern are very good- perhaps the best german team in decades.
2- Juventus dont have good enough subsitute players. Out goes Lichsteiner, in comes Padoin.
3- Some of the first XI aren't really good enough- we know about the strikers, but I look at Marchisio, Asamoah, Bonucci and I wonder if they are ever going to be world class. The answer is no.
4- Pirlo is getting old. It is crazy to keep playing him every single game. He is slowing down. Rest him a bit
on the 11th April, 2013 at 3:47pm
@Pesimistic Juventino

Let's not forget where we were a few seasons ago. Winning against teams like Bayern, Barca, Real takes time. Not even the rich Man City, Man United or PSG could get further than we did.

Italy will bounce back!
on the 11th April, 2013 at 3:28pm
im proud of the character shown by juve players last night.But its beyond doubt if you want to really win in Europe you need top quality strikers and be able to switch formation like 4:3:3,or 4:3:1:1 but the Contes tactic is rigid and predictable mean while he tried by taking us this far im not criticizing him . Now is left for marotta to open his bag bring in at least two quality finishers that can make the difference at any time and a defender and a midfielder to reduce depending on pirlo.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 3:20pm
@Viktor I disagree with you to a point. Juve is not missing a little, we are missing a lot of things. Strikers were not our problem over the two legs. We had no creativity from the midfield very little help from that department.
I felt that an attacking midfielder would have done miracles for us last night, no wingers to spread the play and our build up was to slow. Still im happy that we got to the quarters, hopefully can build on that. Can't wait to see Milan with Balo & SES in next years CL
on the 11th April, 2013 at 3:18pm
The Bayern game came too soon.Our first foray into the CL went as good as could have been anticipated after so many years in the wilderness thanks to the FIGC.To win the thing you need is a quality strikefoce and we know we don`t have that.Next year we will have Llorente and hopefully another quality striker for the next campaign.I can`t explain how poor Marchisio was over the two legs against Bayern!!!
on the 11th April, 2013 at 3:15pm
You can not give half the pitch to Sweinsteiger to play the ball to whoever he wants. Each time he had it he had half the pitch in which to look up and play the balls needed. The boys did as well as the boys could but still at times when we needed goals I was unsure why at times we were not rushing forward into the box. Several times when we did get through there was no one there. Alas its shown we are still missing key players so Bepe get your cheque book out.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 3:15pm
I felt we had a good chance of progressing before the first leg. Bayern had the experience which tipped the game in their favor. From the coach to the individual players they were full of it. Obviously the fact that we have no pure wingers and attacking midfielders limited our tactical approach but im still proud of the lads and the way they played last night. Next year i hope to see all the top Italian clubs back on European stage building on what we all achieved this season.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 3:07pm
What game did you watch? Juventus played terribly. I was really shocked and annoyed with the way the team played.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 2:46pm
Juve got the league pretty much wrapped up and for that congrats. However, in Europe it still feels like your missing some. As @freshprince said Milan won against Barca and frankly in Europe looks much more convincing then juve. You need strikers, playing against bayerns with quagirella and vucinic isn't exactly top notch striking force.


@mustafaa I'm pretty sure that beating barca gives you better rep in Europe then losing 0-4 in aggregate to bayern.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 2:39pm
"maybe by working hard we can get there"

This is what worries me! You can't become Ribery, Robben, Shweini, Mandzukic and others by working hard.
It requires TALENT!

How can you train Matri, Padoin, Vucinic, Quagliarella, Chiellini and others to become at their level if they don't have the talent?

If you dont have the money, then shut up and say our goal is to be top 3 in Serie A and to play in the group stage in CL. That's it!

Italian football is sinking like hell!
on the 11th April, 2013 at 2:29pm
Juve reminded me of how Inter were in Europe pre Mouriniho, no ideas.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 2:27pm
Your argument doesn't make any sense. Obviously, you're taking the same drugs as Moratti. Juve got to the last 8 in Europe. How is that a poor showing? Barca nearly went out too and PSG did despite spending millions in the Summer. This Bayern would destroy Inter especially as Atalanta can put 4 past you in one game! Go bug a few phones, shred some more evidence and stalk your best players (whoever they are)... And Good luck getting into Europe.
Juve Forever!!!!....Inter Forever Losers!
on the 11th April, 2013 at 2:19pm
What makes you think I am an Inter fan? I support a team that beat Inter in a European cup final. You guys are paranoid about Inter.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 2:16pm
I agree with Berge. As good as Conte has been for Juve in the last 18 months, his poor tactical approach to the two ties cost us dearly, even though Bayern are a superior side. In the away leg, he should have shifted to either a 3-5-1-1 (extra midfielder - Pogba) or even a 4-4-2 to limit the damage of their wingers. In the home leg maybe even revert to an attacking 4-3-3 with Giaccherini to provide some pace in the front third. Vidal, Lich and Giovinco missing did limit his options though.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 2:09pm
This only proves that Juve influences and even buys referees in Serie A. They're about to "win" their 29th title, or 31st according to their fans, yet they only have two European cups and get dominated by virtually the same Bayern side that Inter knocked out of the CL twice in a row. That says a lot about how many of those Scudetti you have stolen.
Juve fans, this is what happens when you can't buy referees.
What a disgrace, losing 4-0 on aggregate. Even Milan managed to score two past Barca.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 2:03pm
After the celtic match I heard all juve fans saying they can win the champions league. What heppened hahahahaha
on the 11th April, 2013 at 1:39pm
Have confidence Juventus fans...it is only a matter of time before you win a Super Bowl.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 1:31pm
Go back to your wire taps and whinging about penalties. You'll need two penalties per game to even make the Europa league. Inter are in the wilderness worried about shadows instead of calcio.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 1:31pm
These are down times for Italian football, but I suspect things will improve if the economy can ever bounce back. Juventus made me very proud during this Champions League Campaign. The club is on the right track, but it might take some years to get there.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 12:52pm
yes new players are needed especially the strikers .matri cant even trap the damn ball . bonucci is still the week link at the back . but we still did well . conte should have tried another tactic in the first leg .oh well forza juve .serie is still ours .
on the 11th April, 2013 at 12:30pm
It is all Inters fault!
on the 11th April, 2013 at 12:04pm
The last time Juve were in Europe we had a 3-1 lead over Fulham and went to Craven Cottage and somehow lost 4-1. Since that blacker than black day in the life of a juventino on the European stage we have gone from strength to strength we commanded a tough group which many thought we'd struggle in negotiated a tricky tie against Celtuc with complete professionalism and we were finally outdone comprehensively by a fantastic Bayern side that may just win the thing.We'll be back next year stronger.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 11:54am

Post new comment

Your email address is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
If you have your own website, enter its address here.
Maximum 500 characters.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Your responses will be moderated, and sometimes edited, by Football Italia before appearing on the site. Please keep your comments clean and try to keep them relevant to the blog above. We reserve the right to reject views that we deem unsuitable for publication.