NEWS
Tuesday September 17 2013
Conte: 'Copenhagen goal cursed'

Antonio Conte felt the 1-1 draw with Copenhagen was “cursed. I don’t remember so many chances one-on-one with the goalkeeper.”

Juventus were held in their Champions League opener in Denmark despite having 22 chances – more than any other side in today’s games. It was remarkably similar to last year’s 1-1 draw with Danes Nordsjaelland.

“I don’t think anyone was underestimated, especially with last season’s lesson, though this was even worse than Nordsjaelland, as it was a siege,” Conte told Sky Sport Italia.

“Experience teaches me if you don’t put the ball in the net then you’re not going to win. We have to learn that no matter how many chances you create, they have to go in. I don’t remember another time when we had so many chances one-on-one with the goalkeeper and from point-blank range.”

Swedish goalkeeper Johan Wiland performed heroics in the Copenhagen goal, despite his poor start to the season.

“It’s amazing people said the goalkeeper was in crisis, but he performed 11 amazing saves. Even with his performance, we still should’ve done better to score. It’s a shame, especially seeing the result in Turkey, as winning today would’ve put us in a very strong position.”

Elsewhere in Group B, Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid won 6-1 away to Galatasaray with a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick.

“This is football and if you don’t get it over the line then you risk defeat. I fielded some taller players today to counter their power in the air, but we still conceded from a set play,” noted Conte, who surprisingly left Fernando Llorente on the bench.

“I made some players warm up, including Llorente and Giovinco, as I wanted to see how the game was going to develop. Against a side with players who are strong in the air but slow, it would be stupid to play with tall forwards. Tevez, Quagliarella and Giovinco gave them the most problems, as they are shorter and quick.

“They worked for the team and had great chances. This felt like a cursed game. Copenhagen were playing only to get corners or free kicks to float it into the box.

“We tried to bring more pace down the flanks, but at the end of the day if the ball doesn’t go in the net, we’re here talking about thin air.

“Inevitably in the first 25 minutes we met a team that went all out, though we also moved the ball around a bit too slowly. Perhaps we should’ve spread the play more, as we did in the second half, and their tempo also dropped because they couldn’t keep that up.

“The spaces opened up and we were able to create chances for our forwards that unfortunately we didn’t make the most of.”

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