Tuesday January 21 2014
Conte: 'Peluso goal should've stood'

Antonio Conte felt Juventus should not have had their goal disallowed in a “very balanced” Coppa Italia defeat to Roma.

Gervinho got the decisive strike with 11 minutes left on the clock in tonight’s quarter-final at the Stadio Olimpico.

“I think it was a very balanced encounter, that Roma scored perhaps in the moment we looked to be taking control,” the Coach told Rai Sport.

“Both sides played well and studied their opponents. I am satisfied with the performance of those players who usually don’t play as much.

“It’s a shame, as we conceded a goal during our best moment of the game. Our tactical plan was to stay solid and try to hurt Roma. We were perhaps a bit too timid in the first half, but at the same time I didn’t see us suffer particularly at the back.

“An incident was decisive in a one-off game and Roma scored, whereas our goal was disallowed.”

There were two incidents that Juve complained about, as Mehdi Benatia was booked for a foul on Sebastian Giovinco when the Bianconeri wanted a straight red.

“I thought that could be considered a last man foul. I asked the Fourth Official that too. In any case, I don’t wish to comment on the referee, he made this decision and that’s all.”

Federico Peluso had scored straight after the restart, but the linesman had already lifted his flag as Mauricio Isla’s cross appeared to go out of play.

“In all honesty from the footage it looks like it’s in play by a metre, at least. Look at the ball and where the crossbar is, it seems to be in play. I repeat, referees can make mistakes, but it looks like it’s in and quite a bit in, at that,” said a clearly irritated Conte.

“Looking at the reaction of the Roma players, who didn’t protest, they even look like they are blessed by the linesman lifting his flag. Maybe it’s better that it happened against us, otherwise imagine the chaos that would’ve emerged with people talking about ‘help.’

“We don’t play to go on the counter-attack, as we don’t have players of those characteristics. We always try to get the ball, keep possession and hurt our opponents, but we very rarely go on the counter. Our approach was the same that we had in Turin and we only got stretched out on the goal.”

Juventus had the opportunity to win their 10th edition of the Coppa Italia, the first since 1995.

“It’s a shame that we were elimination from a tournament. I have nothing more to ask from the lads, as in the past we always used the Coppa Italia to rotate the squad also to help the team grow in future. I need 20-22 players who are accustomed to playing at this level.

“I had some positive responses and the regret remains that we conceded a goal during our best period of the game.”

Conte was asked about the chaotic row with Inter over the failure of their Fredy Guarin-Mirko Vucinic exchange, but he refused to comment.

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