Antonio Conte is confident Juventus “emerge fortified” from their 2-2 draw with Real Madrid.
“I’d rate our performance very highly. The team did very well and the first half was perfect in every respect, organisation, quality and intensity,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“In the second half we suffered a little at keeping that tempo with such a packed fixture list. When the intensity drops against Real Madrid, you inevitably risk paying the price, especially when Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale are running at you on the counter.
“Iker Casillas was Man of the Match in my view and saved Real Madrid on several occasions.”
Copenhagen beat Galatasaray 1-0 this evening, so in theory Juventus could qualify if they beat the Danes and earn a draw in Istanbul.
“We have absolutely made a step forward and are obliged to beat Copenhagen. In my view, we have picked up far fewer points than we deserved to in this group. Tonight the draw could’ve been a win, but Real Madrid are an Armada with players who can change the game at any moment.
“What satisfies me the most is the hunger these players put on to the field and the way they faced Real Madrid openly. We weren’t nervous or too respectful and that is how it should be for us to grow in the Champions League.
“We proved on the pitch that the difference in economic strength between the clubs was really not that visible.
“We reached the Champions League quarter-finals last season and are still alive now, which is what counts. We need to continue playing with this intensity against anyone, including Real Madrid.
“After last year’s valuable experience, I am convinced that if we get through the group phase then we can have our say in the Champions League. We have a gap with European powerhouses like Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, particularly one of experience.
“We emerge fortified from this match. We have to realise that regardless of the financial situation, we do our talking on the pitch.”