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.

Keep up to date with the latest news and action from Spain's Primera Division with Football Espana - from the team behind Football Italia.

Have your say...
Commonsense, I don't rate Santon. Whilst he is technically decent, he is not a good defender. He looked very promising as an 18 year old, But his game has arguably gone backwards since then; which is very disappointing. At least Italy has De Sciglio now. Santon also is too timid & lacks a bit of aggression. D'Ambrosio would be a better option or Antonelli IMO. Asamoah would definitely do a good job in the middle.
on the 15th December, 2013 at 8:59am
@Daniel Giambrone, Muniain would be a very good asset but he has a ridiculous buyout clause of 38 million euros. Juve will absolutely not break the bank for that especially when their in Europa league. Plus in the summer ZaZa and Berardi looks like their coming to juve, reason be we own them and if they continue to perform very well for Sassuolo it would be a great addition to the team. Also a little birdie told me David Stanton is also being looked at and also Criscito.
on the 15th December, 2013 at 5:19am
@ Zoli. Well put my friend. Ok on to another related juventus matter coming from the office of Moggi, he quoted as saying Juventus should've refused to play in those conditions in turkey. My question is what would the outcome have been, and please let's keep it clean on the thoughts!. Anyone........your thoughts.....
on the 15th December, 2013 at 5:00am
Everybody knows you have to have spark to maintain a level of instigation in journalism but I am shocked this endless, senseless Jerry Springer type BOSS garbage, insulting everyone and everything keeps going on after pretty much all here expressed their utter dissatisfaction in no uncertain terms, several times !!
I hope it changes right away and that this I'm typing makes it to the page. If not then I'm done here.
Have a Merry Christmas everyone and "forza" to the beautiful game !
on the 14th December, 2013 at 10:58pm
Italian in Canada, the Hungarian in the US completely agrees with you. The moderators are doing a very poor job which is ruining the blog department. A few days ago after the first round of fireworks, I wrote a comment, touching on the subject (Juve) and in the end I asked everyone for more respect and common sense. Most here know me by now and I can confidently say that I have equal patience and respect towards anyone but without containing one questionable word, my post didn't make it.
on the 14th December, 2013 at 10:44pm
Now that Juventus has been brought down to Europa league.In January they should pick up David Santon for 10 million on the left and Asamoah can go to his natural position as a midfielder. ANY THOUGHTS ANYONE!
on the 14th December, 2013 at 8:27pm

You literally can't even comprehend the most basic of concepts. I challenged one of your points that Arsenal achieve success without spending money, despite the fact they haven't won anything domestically or in europe since 2005, and they have just spent over £40 million on Ozil.

My other request was for you to provide factual evidence that the Portuguese, Turkish, and French leagues (as a whole) are better than Serie A. Not whether Juve are better than Galatasary or not. Please quit i
on the 14th December, 2013 at 7:55pm
I don't know. How do my inoffensive comments often not make it onto the site, while Boss manages to get loads of nasty on. The CAPTCHA is a problem for me; I'm human, but can't always make out the mess, and there's no voice. And is it case sensitive? If so, state that please. And these comments are supposed to be moderated, "and sometimes edited," and that would be done by a human--if it is, then that human needs a new job because he/she is allowing this page to deteriorate.
on the 14th December, 2013 at 5:52pm
Only a pure idiot like you would compare Arsenal to Juve. The reason that Asrenal haven't won anything is simply their incapability to comprehend what makes a team, a big one. They certainly have the money as most of any other English team. Then, a pure idiot comes here and compares them to a team that was demoted to Serie B and went through hell, only for Conte to come and get them back up. That really sums up your knowledge.
on the 14th December, 2013 at 4:39pm

Dude, pathetic.
on the 14th December, 2013 at 2:04pm

How many trophies have juventus won since 2005 in Europe?

You'll find the answer to that is the same as arsenals you idiot. The reason arsenal haven't won a domestic trophy is because they play in a harder league.

The majority of people outside of Italy will tell you the EPL is a harder league.

What more evidence do you want, the champions of Italy just got eliminated by a Turkish side and struggled with a Denmark side.
on the 14th December, 2013 at 11:07am
I can honestly say I was disappointed for about five seconds after our elimination. Put aside the match should never have taken place after the volume of hale and snow had soaked into an already inadequate surface. This year we simply weren't good enough. We are in an infinitely better position than our group elimination in 2009 and, for me, the Champions League has always been a bonus, compared to the Scudetto. We still have three trophies to go for, so there is nothing to moan about.
on the 14th December, 2013 at 10:08am
@ Daniel Giambrone

Interesting point you make about a general lack of world class center backs. I was having a discussion with a friend and when I said that Thiago Silva is the best center back in the world, he laughed. I then asked him to name a better one and he couldn't. There are very few, if any at all, truly world class center backs in the current game.
on the 13th December, 2013 at 10:58pm
Boss point about the pace of the Italian game is a fair point ive criticized juventus in the past with their lack of pace and in general throughout the league the national team is so sluggish its a joke,its like they are running in concrete the points boss makes are valid i don't see what the problem is.if you don't like the truth don't read it Italian teams are to laid back how many times have you seen them take the lead and sit on only to lose they lack urgency at club and national level.
on the 13th December, 2013 at 10:37pm
I hope the stories linking Muniain to Juve come to fruition. He is a great talent & just what Juve need:someone with pace & trickery. They could probably do with two players like this as their squad doesn't have enough attacking midfielders/wingers. This would allow Conte to switch to 433 more often. Clubs like Barca, Madrid, PSG, Bayern, Arsenal are loaded with these schemers.
on the 13th December, 2013 at 9:23pm
I don't know about Paletta Sam. He's looked ok to me, but nothing special or better than what we have right now. TBH, we are not the only nation that are struggling for great CB's. They are becoming an endangered species. The rules protect the forwards too much & this certainly doesn't help. If we were picking players which are on form (something CP rarely does), then Perin should get the nod over Marchetti. I wasn't convinced by him at Pescara, but he has been excellent at Genoa.
on the 13th December, 2013 at 9:10pm
@BOSS, you're a wonderful person I'm sure. I'm sure you're a very tough individual as well. I'm sure I'd be terrified of you. May the love and joy of the Christmas spirit descend upon you. May all your anger towards your fellow man and Italian football vanish along with the hardness of your heart. I'll take your name calling "Skid" with much love and peace. Merry Christmas BOSS. I still love you very much. God Bless.
on the 13th December, 2013 at 8:58pm
@Sam de martino for me roncaglia from Fiorentina, If we were to choose an oriundi for defense. And Leali would be great as goalkeeper.
on the 13th December, 2013 at 8:47pm
Does anyone have any thoughts on Gabriel Paletta playing for Italy. He has looked good so far this season in my view and would be hopefully a good addition to our defense which is undoubtedly the weak area of our team. Also I find it bizarre how for the under 21s we have Perin, Leali and Barid 3 really good goalkeeprs in my view who are all playing well for their clubs and Sirigu and Marchetti in the full squad who for me aren't great. Again any thoughts anyone?
on the 13th December, 2013 at 7:35pm
Skid Marc f

Also, I don't act tough on here. Sometimes I use strong words but I criticise Italian football. If I was on here threatening people telling them I'm a 240 pound 6ft sumo wrestler like you, then fair enough you could call me that. But I don't. Have a re read of your comment, you're the one acting tough, compensating for the fact you're a shy little boy that got picked on at school. Don't take your frustrations out on me, see a therapist.
on the 13th December, 2013 at 4:52pm
Skid Marc F

I think you'll find in this blog I only bashed juve until others started to get a rise out of me.

Also, I've had mixed reactions to your recent post. I find it funny that you have gone from juventus to talking about your imaginary stature, to which I could not care less about. But I also find it disrespectful you then imply a threat.

I don't care if your Jon jones and mayweather's sparring partner. I would say it to your face and you would take it internet tough guy.
on the 13th December, 2013 at 4:48pm
Forza inter

They respond, because I'm one of the only few people on this site that makes any valid points. They respond because the truth hurts them. That's why their responses are limited to "go away" "but Italy have world cups".

I don't ask for any responses, I was venting my fury at juventus. Others chose to respond to me. I'm just debating with these losers. And wiping the floor with them.
on the 13th December, 2013 at 4:40pm
@ Forza Inter

It was a great pleasure watching Inter during the week! on no wait they were not playing I forgot they are back where they belong the small club in Milan and no rival to Juve, In fact the only time the have won anything substantial was when an ex board member of Inter relagate Juve and heavily punished A.C. and then due to a flawed law get away with worse than Juve! face facts your club is small and you have the mentality of a small club fan. Enjoy the CL next year without Inter.
on the 13th December, 2013 at 2:44pm
@Boss, all you do is bash people. You have nothing but hate and anger. It's very sad to see. You can imagine me with a girly voice perhaps because it turns you on? I could tell you that I'm 6 foot 240LBS and not of fat my hatred fill brother. Believe me, you wouldn't be acting so tough if we were face to face. I digress. This is about Football, not hate. Get help my friend. Merry Christmas BOSS. May the peace of the Christmas season fill your heart with joy, peace and love.
on the 13th December, 2013 at 1:54pm

I find it so strange or maybe not that strange, that a tractor was used on the one half of the pitch Juve had to attack for 45 minuets. Uefa and Gala need to be held to account for this. If I remeber rightly Milan got a fine for the state of there pitch which was far better than Gala's. Also i hate to say but well done Milan and very tough break for Napoli. Next year Juve will be there and will qualifiy but I bet Inter are not there!! FORZA JUVE
on the 13th December, 2013 at 1:40pm
Why are you people even responding to that troll Boss? Let him keep talking and focus on what's important here, the fact Rubentus is a failure and only wins in Serie A because they pay the refs. They've already been convicted of match fixing once, another investigation and they will be convicted again. The only reason Rubentus is so horrible in Europe is because they can't pay off European referees. Watc them crash out of the Europa League too lmao.
on the 13th December, 2013 at 1:22pm
@ Dario I think it would be helpful if there was some sort of threads type arrangement so that people who actually want to discuss the football can go to one thread and the rest can go to other threads. As you may have gathered I mostly use this forum as a form of therapy to vent my frustration about Milan. I never seemed to comment when we were successful....
on the 13th December, 2013 at 12:56pm
Too many people slagging off serie a. If you don't like don't watch it. Saying it's boring and slow is ridiculous. Maybe these same people ought to watch Roma, Napoli and Fiorentina...they may change their mind as thy all play good attacking football. Napoli was awesome in Europe but just a little unlucky considering their group and still beating arsnal & Dortmund!
on the 13th December, 2013 at 12:35pm
BOSS "Take the Arsenal and Dortmund example, spend little money but are damn good"

Funny how Arsenal haven't won a trophy since 2005, this year they look very good... Is it a coincidence they look very good having spent £40 million on Ozil. Do some research, or at least try and think a little bit you narrow minded f uck. You still haven't provided any evidence either. You're starting to bore me to be honest. I was hoping for a bit more from you, clearly incapable of having a proper debate.
on the 13th December, 2013 at 11:33am
This place is becoming an extension of Facebook. A miserable sad place where people can hide and slag each other off behind the security of their computer! If you all hate someone so much and don't want them on here then why even entertain them and reply. Does it not occur to anyone that attention maybe what he desires? If you're not happy with someone's point of view or slagging off of things, ignorance is bliss. People soon get bored when there are no bites around the lake. Everyone grow up!
on the 13th December, 2013 at 11:00am

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