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Wednesday December 11 2013
Hell froze over for Juventus

Juventus were eliminated from the Champions League following their bizarre final Group B clash away at Galatasaray. Luca Cetta reviews the action.

Going into a big match you hope for any omen or advantage over your opponent. Juventus were hoping their clash in Istanbul against Roberto Mancini’s Galatasaray would end in a similar manner to their last do-or-die European group encounter 12 months ago against Shakhtar Donetsk. Instead, the Bianconeri were dealt a card similar to the one experienced in Perugia 13 years ago, that fateful final day of the 1999-2000 Serie A season.

It will go down as one of the most chaotic Champions League contests of all time. The action at the Turk Telekom Arena verged towards the realms of Test cricket, with play spread over multiple days. It was Galatasaray versus Juventus, versus the elements. On Tuesday the snow fell. And fell. Play did commence, but after further snow and hail, the game was halted just past the half hour mark.

During those 30 minutes Juventus looked comfortable against a Gala outfit which needed to take maximum points. The hosts - playing in front of their typically fervent home support - mustered little to worry Gianluigi Buffon, while Fernando Llorente had Juve’s best chance.

Play was expected to be halted temporarily. As the groundsmen cleared the pitch, the match was abandoned. Determining a restart time for Wednesday was something of a calamity in itself. UEFA decided a time, only to then be told by local police to shift it back an hour.

The groundsmen chopped up the pitch in clearing the snow and come the resumption of play, it was even worse than when the abandonment was called. It looked a potato field in some sections, the ball often stuck in the mud. How play was allowed to resume is something only UEFA can answer. The governing body should be held accountable for 60 minutes of football more suited to amateur level proceedings. Their handling of the situation was fittingly amateurish.

“We certainly tried to have the game postponed and met with the UEFA delegate beforehand, but nobody wanted to listen,” stated Antonio Conte afterwards. “Roberto Mancini said it was dangerous and I agreed with him, I said ‘I think so.’ I don’t think my English is that bad...”

For what football could be played, it called for an hour of determination and concentration. Both sides were cagey, understandably so, once play resumed for the final 15 minutes of the first half. Neither wanted to make a mistake that would equal an even greater challenge after the interval.

Juve could rely on nabbing a draw and qualifying. Gala had to go for it. They did so with greater attacking intent in the second half, nonetheless the Bianconeri stood firm and aside from one fine Buffon save, were not really tested. That was until Wesley Sneijder was on the end of Didier Drogba’s knockdown to score with five minutes remaining. Gala advance with seven points, Juve drops down to the Europa League with six. For the Turkish club it’s a great achievement. They advanced from a group containing Real Madrid and Juventus, changed Coach during the group stage and recovered from an initial 6-1 drubbing against Real.

Conte also rightly noted his side should never have been in this situation to begin with. “I will say our mistake was to get to the last game and play everything here.” Juventus can only blame themselves for sitting on two points from the opening two games. They were punished by Copenhagen on Matchday 1 and after battling from a goal down against the Turks in Turin, conceded cheaply moments later. From there it proved an uphill climb.

Once European football resumes in the new year, Juventus will be in the Round of 32 in the Europa League. The Final will be played at the Juventus Stadium, so that is certainly an aim. But it’s merely a consolation, both football-wise and financially.

No matter the circumstances, it’s an embarrassing exit and now they’ll have to make-do with the poorer European cousin.

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Have your say...
Really, DT, never? Funny because FC Zenit just qualified from CL group G with 3 draws, 2 losses, and 1 win.
on the 11th December, 2013 at 10:54pm
They have lost 1 game in their last 10 and it took a snow storm to do it. The team is fine, it was a round of bad luck in the last week, first with the Pirlo injury and then the joke that UEFA allowed to contiune today. Keep in mind Juve brought in a new front line that took time to gel, which explans their slow start in CL. With Eurpia their is still a chance for 3 trophies.
on the 11th December, 2013 at 10:54pm
Boss, you call yourself a Juventus fan then slag them off and call them "They". Who are you trying to kid. You are just a confused little boy.
on the 11th December, 2013 at 10:51pm
Screw them. Absolutely no sympathy.

Real Madrid beat Gala 6:1 away and Juve drew 2;2.

I dont care what kind crap excuse they have, 3 draws, 2 lost and 1 win has got no one qualified from the group stage ever.

And I have to say 50% of the conceded goal was Pogba's fault.
on the 11th December, 2013 at 10:34pm
My word, what a lot of anti-Juve sentiment. As a Juve supporter (obviously) I am the first to admit when my team fail to deliver. In this CL they failed to put the ball in the net when they needed to. But today the best team lost, as they did in Madrid, and in both instances UEFA had a big hand in matters. The rest is pathetic. Yes, Serie A is in decline, but calling it a 'crap league' or inferior to France et al. is just nonsense. 'Rubentus' calls are just childish; berating Conte, come on.
on the 11th December, 2013 at 10:15pm
@Maldini's Heir, who said: "The best side in Italy cannot get out of its group." : No EPL team made it out any group last CL season, and the Cup holders got knocked down to the EL. Nobody's talking about that this season, and no one will be talking about Juve's crappy group play next season. Over and done, we move on.
on the 11th December, 2013 at 9:46pm
Hey Rubentus fans, two teams were playing, so quit your whining about being beat by the weather. You're just mad you can't pay off UEFA refs like you do Serie A refs.
on the 11th December, 2013 at 9:38pm
Hey Boss. Serie A is a Mickey Mouse league lol. I love it. You're a funny guy indeed. Guess what? The national team that is made up of that Mickey Mouse league has 4 stars on their national jersey. They also have the team with the second most Champions Leagues. You and all others can call it what you want. I'll take people who know nothing about the game calling it a bad league. I feel great when I put on my Azzurri shirt and see 4 stars. Let me guess, you're Brazilian lol?
on the 11th December, 2013 at 9:00pm
for all those who say that the pitch was the same for both sides etc.. I hope the final will be played in mud and olympiakos beat bayern. say than that this is fair.
on the 11th December, 2013 at 8:54pm
My team is just not lucky ....we are in control of the game ..then ...snow top it ..and i felt it will be reversed on us ...as Gala will have another approach.
Juve and Champions ...it's a long HATE relation since 98 loss to Real.
Also, Conte ...we should have locked it at least at 80 ..he should add more defensive element ..he should made the middle also crowded ...or at least changed Lorentte with Vicinic to hold the ball more ...
GOD ...i'm a die hard Juventini and such a loss ..is hurting
on the 11th December, 2013 at 8:47pm
Milan are trying despite being in their worst form,and the same goe for Napoli who could go out tonight on 12 points (double what juve accumulated). I'm sure if any of the aformentioned teams were in juve's group,they would have qualified from matchday 5.The coach's mentality is key,not just the no of stars u have on your squad
on the 11th December, 2013 at 8:31pm
Wake up call to the whole of Serie A. Juve are dominating Serie A this season, but can't even get out of the group stages in the CL. Napoli are on their way out tonight. Milan are the only side Italy will have left, how long are they really going to last given their performances this season? If Serie A cannot buy the best it needs to produce more young players and stop buying second rate foreign cast-offs. Doing otherwise is the road to ruin.
on the 11th December, 2013 at 8:21pm
@Boss

Stop supporting us then you glory hunter. Why not just go follow Madrid like the other bandwaggoners? Chelsea were knocked out last season. Man U the season before that. We went further than any EPL team last year as well. Stop talking nonsense. And how are we inferior to the Portugese or French leagues?
on the 11th December, 2013 at 8:18pm
I don't think the squad is as bad as some of you are saying.Sure,some reinforcements are needed,and some players like padoin,de ceglie,and isla,really need to go,bt the main culprit is conte.He is just so stubborn and limited,approachingCL games like he was up against catania or livorno.Additionally,he keeps reinstating in his players the belief that thry cannot winthe CL. The italian leage is defintely not the strongest,but it's also not thst bad.J
on the 11th December, 2013 at 8:18pm
all these so called juventus men dissing my team , use dont deserve to be called juve supporters , if use own a juve shirt throw it in a bin , are team got beat by the weather i know we should have done better in the group earlier on and were abit stubborn but when it mattered the footballing gods weren't on are side , but this juventus team went the whole season undefeated made girls out of the champions league winners chelsea and went to the quaters and are going for 3 in a row remember that
on the 11th December, 2013 at 8:13pm
@ FOSS

Crappers only speak for themselves, which by the you're one of them, probably the biggest of them. They crap-talk and they crap-smell.

So, I guess you will switch to Gala this year.
on the 11th December, 2013 at 7:55pm
The odds were against Juve from the beginning. From Madrid match in Madrid, scoring and conceding late against Gala in Turin, and lastly the shameful match at Istanbul. Yes it was down to the last match, but playing in that pitch made Juve lose.

We all praised what Juve've done last year at the same competition, and here come some stupid guys here comparing Conte to the joke Mancini.

Maybe it will work well at the end when it comes to the Europe League.
on the 11th December, 2013 at 7:51pm
Ouch but as an Inter fan they deserved a bit more out europe Juve did. Mind you, this game should have been meaningless. They bette hold onto Pogba. Bad for Italy though, hopefully they go through the ranks in to europa league final. Seeing Inter from 06-09 , i can say something is a miss in this Juve squad.
on the 11th December, 2013 at 7:47pm
@BozzZzz


Ever heard of Pogba?

Idiot.
on the 11th December, 2013 at 7:46pm
BOSS is pretty funny, gone a bit over the top I think. Yeah sure, Serie A has declined massively in the last 15 years, but to say it's worse than the Turkish, Portuguese, and French league is absurd. Even the German league, Bayern would dominate Serie A, but the rest, including Dortmund, wouldn't. Napoli proved that by beating them at the San Paolo. I put it down to understandable frustration. Hopefully Juve go on to win the EL and gain some respect/coefficients points
on the 11th December, 2013 at 7:45pm
@BOSSzzzZzz


Another valid post from BOSS, around of applause for the football wiz Bozz.

Jesus, are you even watching football our you just found a blog to write nonsense on to try make people upset?

Your quite sad dude.
on the 11th December, 2013 at 7:42pm
@ The One
I did say we were bad in the first two games and we shouldn't have let it get to the last game. That doesn't excuse the state of the pitch, the ball was rolling better when they cancelled it last night. It is at the end our own fault and nothing else but a game of this magnitude should not have been played in those conditions. Also the pitches in Russia are far better than that mud pit sorry just my opinion.
on the 11th December, 2013 at 7:42pm
Nothing better than seeing a former Inter player coached by a former Inter manager kick Rubentus out of the CL. Your cheating ways get you nowhere in Europe. I call for another investigation.
on the 11th December, 2013 at 7:33pm
As for juventus in the Europa league:

Deluded Italian fan on this site: "oh juventus are great and as it is their home ground they will be extra motivated and conte is a mastermind at tactics and Italian football is so great we just haven't won any trophies in ages because of bad luck and weather"

Me: SHUT UP you moron juventus are a joke, conte is a mastermind of a rubbish league, juventus will be out in the first round and a English team will win it.
on the 11th December, 2013 at 7:31pm
Now is it clear to everyone that Rubentus pay off Serie A referees? The fact they're the league's reigning champion and current table toppers, yet they lose to Galatasaray and crash out of the Cl either says Serie A is so bad now that its on the same level as the Greek league, or that Rubentus are back to their cheating ways. I refuse to believe Serie A is that bad.
on the 11th December, 2013 at 7:30pm
Juve deserved to go out. They were bad from the word go - with the
exception of the away game to RM. The current squad is simply
not good enough to compete in Europe. Conte has nobody to call on when
he needs them most. The likes of Isla, Peluso, Padoin, Caceres and Bonnucci must go. They are at best mediocre. Plus, I'm sick of hearing this is a team
in the processor bring rebuilt. That's is just utter nonsense.
on the 11th December, 2013 at 7:26pm
As for all the idiot serie a fans laughing at juve, these are the leading team in your country. If juventus are so crap whilst being the champions of Italy , which they are, what on earth does that say for the Italian teams beneath us. Lol they're even crapper.

Order of leagues

LA LIGA
EPL
BUNDESLIGA
FRENCH LEAGUE
PORTUGUESE LG
TURKISH LG
erm then maybe Serie A

Hope Italy lose another spot in the CL. Don't deserve it.
on the 11th December, 2013 at 7:23pm
Juventus have done nothing of note in the UCL since 2003. I support this crap team but get nothing back. I've had to argue for this crap team and league with so many people. I'm coming to the end of my tether with Italian football.

I wish I could just support an English team.

Oh and for all those idiots that think serie A is superior to the EPL lol, your champions can't even beat gala

I make no excuses about weather. Juventus just suck so does conte, get out of here, bring mourinho back
on the 11th December, 2013 at 7:19pm
Sneijder and drogba are more talented then all of juve's players. Only player you could make a case for is pirlo.

How dare Italian media say gala and Copenhagen are sweeteners for juve. All Italian teams are sweeteners. If I was in the knockout rounds I would hope to draw an Italian team because they are so easy to beat. Can't defend, can't attack, can't run for longer then ten minutes.

Serie A is a Mickey Mouse league.
on the 11th December, 2013 at 7:15pm
3 Reasons Juve were eliminated:

1. 3-5-2 Does not work! It is ruining Italian football in general and has no place in Europe!

2. Tevez is useless... A waste of £10 million and certainly no Del Piero replacement. Juve need to buy Suarez even if it costs 40 million. Money has to be spent to do well in CL.

3. Short Corners!! Why oh why Conte do you make the team play short corners in europe!?! Juve had 43 corners in the group stage!!! They never play short corners in serie A
on the 11th December, 2013 at 7:13pm

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