Roberto Mancini insists Galatasaray “deserved to win” against Juventus, but reveals he didn’t want to play.
The game was halted after 32 minutes on Tuesday night, then resumed this afternoon despite the continuing snow and a pitch in appalling condition.
Wesley Sneijder scored five minutes from time to seal a 1-0 victory that qualified Galatasaray for the Champions League last 16, sending Juve to the Europa League.
“It was difficult to play football in these circumstances and I said beforehand it was dangerous for the players, so perhaps better not to play,” Mancini told Sky Sport Italia.
“Last night was practically impossible, as a sheet of ice had formed over the pitch and nobody wanted to continue. I told the UEFA delegate that in my view it wasn’t right to play today either.
“At half-time it was already too late. Juve wanted to play before the game, or at least they didn’t say anything. I agree with Conte, it was impossible to play football for either side. It became a lottery.
“After that it was an open game and we were more aggressive, so deserved the victory, perhaps because we knew that we had to win.”
This qualification is extraordinary, particularly considering Mancini took over from sacked Fatih Terim just two days before a 2-2 draw in Turin.
“It was a difficult situation when I took over, as we’d lost our first home game 6-1. We were good and lucky to get a point in Turin, then deserved to win this match.”