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...
...In the EL so that we'll be eleminated in the 1st round so that we can concentrate on the 3rd in a row and 10th coppa italia. Come on juve fans don't decieve yourself! you the truth that our(juve) team can't compete in Europe for now. So, why not concentrate on how to build the team.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 7:56pm

Ahhh so cute, lil boy trying to make a smart statement. Let's stick to the topic. FOOTBALL. Let's just focus on football and not the fact you have no clue what to say. I never said anything bout a phd (i mentioned b.a and mba).

"You obviously try and compensate for the deficiencies in your personality by typing nonsense on a website."

That's EXACTLY what you do and I think 90% of this blog would agree on that. Haven't you realized that everyone is against you? For your own good, leave.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 7:56pm

Wrong. I didn't say they couldn't win it at all. I said they wouldn't dominate, and by dominate I mean win the majority of the games, and win the league with ease. The FACT that they lost to Napoli, proves that they wouldn't win every game, and therefore would not dominate.

By your logic of Serie A being worse than the leagues you mention. Porto, Benfica, Galatasary,Fenebache (who regularly dominate there respective leagues) would all win Serie A easily. Doesn't seem plausible right?
on the 12th December, 2013 at 7:54pm

How are you third best time in CL when you didn't go through and had one victory in 6 games in CL? Your superior in the league no doubt but please don't for a second think your third best in Europe. That's just plain wrong.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 7:51pm
I've said this before, and gonna say it again as a juve fan. If you want qualify for the round of 16, do it from the first two games not on the match day 6. Also, any team that can't beat copenhagen, has no business doing in the CL. Just wait and see what's going to happen to gala, they are going to be humiliated by the real CL teams. So also is going to happen to juve if they qualify. So, I'm glad that we stop and this point. Now, conte should play the likes of isla, PDC, Peluso, pandoin.....
on the 12th December, 2013 at 7:51pm
@ L'albanese

Yes mate, you could have won CL. With one win in 6. The snow stopped you.

Dude stop lol.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 7:49pm

Dude, take your meds!!! We talked about this before!

"Would you also like to know my chest size as well you obsessive freak."

What are you talking about? That has absolutely nothing to do with my question.

From talking about Pogba to bringing up your chest size? Your bizarre.

Do us all a favor and take a break. Don't post anything just lay low, you've reached a new time all high of stupidity.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 7:43pm

If Serie A is crap to you, go answer my question pls

1. Why are you here?
2. Why the hell are you here?

Let me help you to answer them

on the 12th December, 2013 at 7:39pm

Oh an internet tough guy. My disgusting country? I presume you mean England. You should think more carefully about making stupid comments like that, given the history of my country and your country which I presume is Italy.

Try and read in between the lines if your small brain can manage that to understand what I am saying.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 7:20pm
Juve fan

Oh dear, you slipped and fell on your own knife. You say any intelligent person wouldn't bother responding to me. But you then go and do exactly that by responding to me. You're clearly quite stupid then, by your own reasoning of course.

At the end of the day, I express my opinion. If you don't like it just don't respond to me.

You and your stupid colleagues need to try and make a point when arguing with me.

The truth clearly hurts, just embrace the reality that serie a sucks.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 7:14pm

I'm a confused little boy?

What an intellectual statement to make. Note the sarcasm.

You're a deluded juve fan that blames the weather. You're one of those idiots in life that blames others for his shortcomings but can't look in the mirror to notice the common denominator in his failings.

I say it how it is. Serie a is a poor league. Juve are the best of a bad bunch. Blaming the weather is even more embarrassing. If you don't like it you can kiss my behind.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 7:08pm
Marc f

I knew there would be at least one idiot who would bring internationals into this. Thanks for propping up as the idiot.

I don't knock Italy's international achievements. I knock their league. Internationals and club level are two very different things. If we use the logic of internationals then that means Brazil have the best league?

The reality is they don't it is a crap league and nobody wants to watch it, just like serie a.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 7:03pm
It just makes me laugh when people come here and write rubbish about Juventus and trying to make the team look small , but they don't realise something that this was a blessing in disguise , third best team in CL , after Bayern and Barca, and we are , we'll be the best team in EL and end up winning it , which it will be good for us and the coefficient. It's a shame thought , because we could've shown Europe how strong we are in the best league if it wasn't for the snow. FORZA JUVE
on the 12th December, 2013 at 7:01pm

"Stop supporting us". Were you on the field of play then yesterday? No I didn't think so you idiot.

This is the extent of stupidity I have to contend with. If I was a glory hunter would I be supporting juventus who have achieved nothing noteworthy in the UCL since 2003? I would be a barca supporter in all likelihood.

How is serie a inferior? Erm because serie a hasn't quite grasped the concept of running.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 6:59pm

Another creepy individual that sits on his computer eating cookie dough playing FIFA on a play station 2 that has an obsession with me. You're almost as bad as Viktoria. I say almost because at least he can type some English.

I hardly understand anything you type. You need to get yourself a tutor mate. All I gathered from your previous post was that you like to eat crap? Hm whatever floats your boat son.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 6:53pm

Have I ever heard of pogba? Would you also like to know my chest size as well you obsessive freak.

Might I add, as a juventus fan, pogba will be leaving soon. No ambitious player wants to remain in Disneyland.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 6:50pm

Ok so by your own logic, because Napoli beat Dortmund, that means Dortmund could not dominate serie A?

Ok, let me apply your logic to a recent event. Galatasaray beat juventus who are Italy's champions. Therefore, no Italian team could win the Turkish league as their best team got walked over by gala.

Doesn't sound entirely plausible does it.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 6:48pm

You're clearly infatuated by me. I don't know why I even give you any attention clearly you act like a fool to try and get a rise out of me.

I don't really know how to respond to your post as you make no point whatsoever to argue against the numerous points I made save to say I'm sad. Need I remind you that you come onto this website to brag about your imaginary PHD? You obviously try and compensate for the deficiencies in your personality by typing nonsense on a website.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 6:44pm
What a shame. Conte is 50 % per cent to blame. The players the other 50 per cent. The horror show in Copenhagen costed them e.g. a player like Cuadrado. Hope they take EL serious and win it in Turin. They could earn some of the lost money there and gain some valuable coefficient points so Italy don't risk only having two teams in CL. Juve simply need a great winger even though they have to pay 20 mill. or take a chance on Menez for 10 mill.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 6:42pm
Sad to see my fellow Interisti comming on here just to mock other teams misfortunes, even Juves, so please friends have some class. Speaking of which, BOSS, stay off our site, on june 14 the national team our 'micky mouse league' has produced will put your disgusting country in its place. Youre in the jungle baby, youre guna die. FORZA CALCIO!!!
on the 12th December, 2013 at 6:30pm
Juve were robbed! Not by the turf, however, but by Antonio Conte....I was sick to my stomach when I saw Giovinco & Quagiarella come on with literally minutes to spare and only after Juve went down 1-0. What a waste! This is so typical of Italian mentality which has made my hair go grey over the years, supporting them in Europe.
Conte needed to change things at half time, when there was time to get a was obvious some of the players were tired. Oh well, at least Milan is representing.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 5:17pm
The real crime here is that stadium has a retractable roof. How is it UEFA did not demand Monday for the roof to be closed to get the game in? When that didn't happen, everything needed to be postponed. It's a joke.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 4:40pm
As Juventus fan, I'm ten times more sadden for what Napoli had to go through (last night), than what Juve went through.

Bad luck for Napoli, they certainly deserved a better fate.

No excuse for Juve, whatsoever. The mentality needs a workout, both attack and defense.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 3:36pm
This tournament has been rigged for years. Soccer, football, calcio, call it what you want but it only serves as a business. Why would the champions league ever allow big names such as ibrahimovic, ronaldo, messi, ribery, etc to not be featured in the semis at least. Viewers generate the money it's a popularity contest. Milan draws Barcelona 3-4 years in a row cmon think people. Juventus outplayed Real Madrid and the ref decided. Regardless what team you follow the competition is a farce.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 2:17pm
Good riddance Juventus, can't cheat and bribe your way to win the CL this time. Might have better luck with selected officials in the Europa League (after all look where the final is)
on the 12th December, 2013 at 2:12pm

No one wants you to follow Juve, So dont, cause if ur only there for the good times dont celebrate with us when we're winning. Simple as that. I know your gona follow up with an short-sighted subjective comment/opinion, just know it will be ignored by any intelligent people on this forum, because people should know you dont argue with the ignorant. Its attention you dont deserve.
on the 12th December, 2013 at 1:56pm
@ Moggi's Apostle

At last a fellow Juventus supporter, who talks sense. We lost control of this group in the first two games and we have underperformed, but to abuse Conte is despicable and ungrateful in the extreme. Remember where we were before he took over and what we have achieved since. He simply does not have the quality of squad to make a real impact in Europe. Winning the Scudetto is more important to me than the Champions League will ever be and a 10th Coppa Italia would mean a lot.
on the 11th December, 2013 at 10:42pm
@BOSS I'll have some of whatever you are on matey!
Truth is Juve should really have wrapped up qualification before now.
Napoli were unlucky to go out on 12 points, and as for Milan, we are left flying the flag for Italy, despite playing like some provincial side.
Throughouly disappointed as it has an effect on the way Calcio is viewed in Europe. Thankfully, the coefficient rankings are messed up, so if Juve, Napoli, Fiore and Lazio can all get to the quarters, Serie A could end up better off!
on the 11th December, 2013 at 10:42pm
A Gutted Napoli fan......Arrrrrrrrrrrr. Well a proud performance. What makes it worse is that we ended up with 12 points each and still out. Just have to accept EL. But let's be very clear that we have done "piu belle figure" than Juve. Lets build on this wi. Now to concentrate on Serie A. Gutted gutted gutted. As an Anglo-Italian ill Cheer on AC....But I don't think they have a hope!
on the 11th December, 2013 at 10:18pm
First of all because of the ridiculous UEFA seeding, failure to qualify from CL groups doesnt indicate anything about strength of a league. All English teams went out last year what did that say about the EPL? Dortmund were going out with 5 min to go this year and Napoli are out with 12 points. Hopefully with the EL in Turin this year Juve will make a real effort to win it which would be great for the coefficent. I look forward to a Juve - Viola EL final, with a Viola victory of course!!
on the 11th December, 2013 at 9:57pm

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