Sunday March 16 2014
Conte: 'Only a great team...'

Antonio Conte pointed out “only a great team” like Juventus could’ve won in Genoa tonight and blasted their critics.

Gigi Buffon parried an Emanuele Calaio penalty before Andrea Pirlo curled in a last-minute free kick for the 1-0 result at Marassi.

“Inevitably coming here and winning in Genoa against a team that played the game of their lives, after our run of matches with tired players I couldn’t rotate, it means only a great team could’ve done it,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“There were also some controversial incidents, but we know referees are humans and can make mistakes, so I compliment the officials.”

Andrea Barzagli pulled out in the warm-up, so Giorgio Chiellini had to be introduced.

“Barzagli’s problem is to be taken as an example, because when some moan about the squad rotation, I was resting Barzagli against Fiorentina because he played three games in a row. Despite that, he still had to stop. There are other players who need a rest, but Marchisio and Giovinco’s injuries mean I had few options.

“Genoa were very aggressive, but the forwards did very well to hold on to the ball and we had scored other goals, so I am satisfied. We could’ve been more precise in the final ball, but they did well both attacking and defending.

“This team is having a super-fantastic campaign and at the end of the day people have to admit it, even if they do so with a heavy heart. I hope to win the Scudetto, then it will be in the record books and the chatter will be gone with the wind.

“Going at this extraordinary pace, we are pushing those behind us over the edge into depression. They will hopefully be disconcerted by this and fall behind.

“I always said the Scudetto was our main priority, to give the third consecutive title to the President. Of course we also want to progress in the Europa League, but the primary objective has always been the Scudetto.”

On Thursday Juventus face Fiorentina in the Europa League and were held to a 1-1 draw in the first leg, but Conte again aimed a sideswipe at critics.

“Fiorentina have a clear advantage with the first leg result. Reading the papers and listening to what people say, it felt as if on Friday they had already celebrated Juve’s elimination from the Europa League.”