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.

Have your say...
damn, so much hatred here
on the 13th December, 2013 at 4:28am
Why is it that whenever i read any of these articles, people always argue and slag each other. People are entitled to have different opinions, so keep the insults to yourself please.

Would love to read a comments section for once that doesn't end up with negative comments and insults. Just makes for bad reading.

on the 13th December, 2013 at 4:06am
@ boss. GIVE IT UP! Just go to bed it's getting late, don't you start at 7:00 am in the morning working at McDonald's.
on the 13th December, 2013 at 4:04am

The truth is You are not MOURINHO You more fit as broke MOUTH-RINHO, to compare yourself to mourinho is a JOKE! IDIOT JOKE!

You are like "a person who don't like a crap food and yet keep coming back to eat them every day every week"

Yes you are an IDIOT

I bet when you come back to eat again next time, you will change your nickname but still you are ..

on the 13th December, 2013 at 3:43am
Napoli, at least, showed some balls.
lets not delude ourselves, Juve isn't that good, sure we have grit and some very good players but when you can't beat Coppebhagen, you have no business in the knock out stages.Marchisio playing against Madrid in a 4-3-3 when you have Quagriella and Giovinco on the bench?
I'd let Ogbonna get a chance to go at Chiellini and Bonucci's spots, they're too comfortable and it's not entirely a plus. What dyou expect to happen when you play Peluso and Padoin in CL?
on the 13th December, 2013 at 2:42am
Ill tell ya what man, the posters here arent stupid or dilussional, calcios in a bad way, we know that, but we keep folowing serie a cos we love our clubs n we care bout the league our clubs play in, standing by what you believe in, theres a word or that; loyalty, personaly Id rather stand by calcio, even if its in its death throws than have it sell its soul like the epl n the faceless corporations that inhabit it. If you cant see the sense in that, I say again,get off our site.
on the 13th December, 2013 at 12:48am
So you call this debating? slagging everyone off rather than making genuine responses, Ive had a few stand offs with Viktor myself but he's got far more grounded n insightul views than you, troll was about right. N now your calling me a liar? I am english actualy 'son'. N the your guna die thing is a quote from a song, antaganism yes but at least I made a vane atempt to be poetic, unlike your childish name calling. tbc
on the 13th December, 2013 at 12:22am
@ BOSS.. that is too typical to say italian football is boring .. how many Serie A games have you watched this year? Also... you must have quite a lot of time on your hands to come and read news articles about such a boring league... I really do feel bad for you in that regard.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 11:37pm
LOL at some1 saying Arsenal do not spend $. Firstly, they just bought a player for 50M something which just is not possible for any italian side right now. Second, they have had money to spend they have just been to cheap to spend it. The fact is, the english fans will always hate italian football.. I guess because its easy to hate a country who has won so much on an international stage... while they have won almost nothing. If we want to talk about football in shambles, lets start with England.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 11:32pm
BOSS, please take a breath and calm down. May I inquire why you are on this website reading this article if you do not find Serie A entertaining?
Regardless your anger as well as your clear attempts at antagonizing are unseemly.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 10:52pm
For those of you thinking Italian football is entertaining, yes it is for about 5 minutes until they all get tired and start walking with the ball.

People cry about the EPL having money? Is it England's fault it is a commercial attraction or that they have their own stadium. You guys are jealous. Don't hate. Whenever serie decides they want to get out if the Stone Age then they might win something again.

Until then serie A is dormant.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 10:35pm
Thanks Paul I aim to please.

I'm sick of hearing the financial excuses. Take arsenal and Dortmund as examples. Spend little money but are damn good. Italian teams do spend money but can't compete. Serie a is stuck in the past in Bedrock with Fred and Barney. If you can't run how are you going to win. No intensity in Italian teams.

If anyone wants proof just look at when an Italian team last won a UCL. 2010 was mourinhos might I add. So really 2007. Some "top" league.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 10:31pm
Skid Marc F

"Guys boss obviously" ...shut up you clown I can just envisage you saying that with a little girly voice. If you want to brown nose the others do it elsewhere.

I have to point out, I come here and debate. But you can't handle it you get offended. Like I said I support juve, annoyed as I am with them, but I'm not deluded like you. It is a crap league you can't deny that. Serie A is being swallowed. Accept it. Don't get angry with me for saying it how it is.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 10:28pm

What you said was bayern would dominate serie a but Dortmund wouldn't because Napoli beat them. I know it is hard for you but try and understand it. Read it slowly.

By that logic as gala beat juve that means juve couldn't dominate the Turkish league.

The point I'm trying to make is... THAT YOU ARE A FOOL.

You want evidence? PSG are better then every Italian team as are gala according to your stupid Einstein like equation.

A troll? How insulting. Lol idiot.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 10:21pm

I don't know what more to say to you. It's like your not right in the head. You belong in a circus mate jumping through hoops.

Can somebody translate what this fool says? All I can gather from his typing is that he loves crap, the word that clearly depicts his life.

Don't worry you rat it can only get better, chin up. I know I'm the highlight of your useless life. Now sit down and shut up and speak when spoken to.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 10:12pm

Your English? And you say my country is going to die and that it is disgusting. I don't think your from here I think you're now just getting nervous. If you think this country is disgusting, catch a flight to Italy and stay there.

Until then, as with your stupid colleagues on here, you make no valid argument for me to respond to. I'm intelligent, you're not, so step back in line son.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 10:08pm
Viktoria's secret

Lol oh because that is so much better, your imaginary BA in being a professional dumba**. I assume you got the imaginary BA in a happy meal.

Again I read your posts and interpret a sense of fear. You make no points the general consensus I interpret from reading posts is I'm funny and that I make valid points. How many people say that about you? Nobody, you and that lion king extra MustuffU get trashed constantly.

Take your own advice son. Get out of here.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 10:03pm
Lol I have to be honest right now I feel like Jose mourinho batting these little rodents away sending them back to their boyfriends crying.

Balodiver, I'll start with you. You asked me the same question twice and I'm the idiot?

In any event I'll answer the question to get it through the hideous object on your neck, your thick head. I support juve. I was furious so I had an outburst. BUT I will still say serie a is a rubbish league today. Prove me wrong son
on the 12th December, 2013 at 9:57pm
@BOSS This is an Italian football website and you obviously don't like calcio like the rest of us, so just go away, nobody wants you commenting on here.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 9:51pm
@ BOSS - I have missed your earlier comments, replies so will not interfere.

Euro exit: As a Juventus supporter, I feel we lost our chance of qualifiying after the 1st game in Denmark, anybody else agree?

First and foremost, the key to qualification in the CL is simple: Win your home games, 5 points from 9 is not good enough regardless of opposition. Antonio has only himself to blame and I hope that he finds the motivation to go all the way in the Europa League. Forza JUVE
on the 12th December, 2013 at 9:20pm
For the record, both arsenal and Manchester United got out of their groups last year.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 9:19pm
Guys, BOSS obviously has some hatred issues. Maybe he had a bad experience with Italian food, maybe he's pissed that Pirlo made Hart look a tad foolish, maybe he's not happy that he wasn't alive in '66, I don't know. All I know is that every league has its pros and cons. What makes this sport so great is that all leagues are different. To bash a country based on their footballing is so ignorant. Don't give this bag of hatred any attention especially this time of year. Merry Christmas.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 9:07pm
@BOSS, really man. Nobody here is a fan of anything you have to say. You're not even a real fan of the sport. To call people names is so pathetic. If you are unable to see my point through international play then you're not very astute. You embarrass yourself with every post. To trash talk a league or country associated with that league is pure ignorance. You're not a real fan by any stretch. Look at all these posts. Nobody wants your attitude here.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 8:59pm
i have to add this i love reading boss replies lol they crack me up keep it up boss your hilarious
on the 12th December, 2013 at 8:44pm
that's why juve are out they bought the cheap option instead of a real forward although boss has had a few rants hes points are legitimate about the Italian league they simply refuse to move with the times and are now being left behind maybe all the teams crashing out of the cl and dare i say it italy failing to get out of the group in the world cup which btw is a real possibility then the league might have to change things no point burying your heads in the sand its a fact the league is poor
on the 12th December, 2013 at 8:43pm
lol lol i have to say this although boss rants he makes legitimate points serie A is floundering ive watch it since italia 90 and the league is struggling beyond belief,i dont even think its about money now the league is just not fashionable as for the national team they also are on borrowed time boss makes some good points serie is one of the slowest leagues in europe the national team also has no pace ive commented on this numerous times as for juve could of bought higuain bought tevez and out
on the 12th December, 2013 at 8:39pm

Am I supposed to laugh now ? Or you just don't have the words to answer to me ? yeah it seems like that. Talk facts, I crap you down. Talk jokes, I crap you down. Talk crap, I crap you down too. So you better shut your mouth because you're nothing more a nonsense pathetic jack-wagon.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 8:22pm
BOSS, if you can back your outlandish, and quite frankly absurd statements up with some valid reasoning and empirical evidence i'll be more than willing to listen to how you propose that the Turkish, Portuguese, and French leagues are better than Serie A. Until that happens, in my opinion, you're nothing more than a frustrated, ill informed, internet troll
on the 12th December, 2013 at 8:09pm
Im English infact, and let me tell you, its so called football fans like you that make me feel ashamed to be from here sometimes, and dont drag 'history' into this cos we'r talking bout football, by n large im afraid to say that english supporters are some of the most ignorant and xenophobic ive ever encountered, judging by your extreme and intensely antagonistic posts, Id say youre one of these. So, 'tough guy', read between those lines.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 8:08pm
Trying to think of some positives...Maybe one of our clubs might finally win the EL. Also, hopefully all 4 of our teams will go far. The co-efficients are the same as the CL so our sides must use this as an opportunity to pull away from France & Portugal. The real winners from this week are Roma; both Napoli & Juve will have even less prep time for Serie A. In the CL, we haven't been good enough for a long time. Inter's win was just a pleasant blip.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 8:04pm

Post new comment

Your email address is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
If you have your own website, enter its address here.
Maximum 500 characters.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Your responses will be moderated, and sometimes edited, by Football Italia before appearing on the site. Please keep your comments clean and try to keep them relevant to the blog above. We reserve the right to reject views that we deem unsuitable for publication.