BLOG ITALIA
Thursday April 11 2013
Bruised Juve bow out

Juventus have been eliminated from the Champions League following a 2-0 second leg defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich. Luca Cetta writes.

Juventus huffed and puffed, but the Bayern wall didn’t come crumbling down. Antonio Conte vowed the team which took the field at the Juventus Stadium on Wednesday would be a different prospect than the one comprehensively beaten a week earlier. ‘Scatenate L’inferno’ – Unleash Hell – cried Tuttosport. And for portions of the second leg, the Bianconeri did pressure the Bavarians. But it wasn’t enough against the slick Bayern machine, who produced a calculated display to earn a 4-0 aggregate triumph. “We certainly played better than the first leg, but Bayern proved they are a very strong side and one stronger than us,” admitted Andrea Barzagli afterwards.

Andrea Pirlo came closest for the home side during the first half, stinging the palms of Manuel Neuer with a free-kick. Juve survived some threatening Bayern incursions, and in the second half the tie was almost put to rest by Arjen Robben. His shot curled off the post, but Mario Mandzukic was not to be denied minutes later.

A set piece whipped into the penalty area was met by Javi Martinez and his parried attempt fell invitingly for the Croat. He made no mistake from close range. At that moment, the majority of the 40,000 in attendance – who lived in hope and had seen Borussia Dortmund snatch victory from the jaws of defeat a night earlier – knew it was over. Claudio Pizarro made it an emphatic triumph in injury time. Bayern qualify for yet another semi-final. Juventus are left to ponder what might have been.

The Bianconeri were dealt a blow with the suspensions of first-choice players Stephan Lichtsteiner and Arturo Vidal from the first leg. Simone Padoin and Paul Pogba stepped in and for the first 45 minutes especially, were excellent. They had chances, Pirlo’s free-kick and a Fabio Quagliarella shot that cracked the outside of the post their best. This was a better Juve from the outset, as Barzagli noted. The Old Lady showed greater comfort in possession, more desire and determination.

But for all the endeavour, there was something lacking. The inferno never truly arrived. That precious first goal to whip the crowd into a frenzy and give Juventus the momentum was sorely missed. Whether a moment of inspiration or luck, it did not fall Juve’s way. The threat of an early Bayern away goal killing the tie loomed. It held Conte’s men back a touch. That and the fact the Bavarians are a quality outfit. After they weathered the initial storm, Jupp Heynckes’ side were proficient with the ball, tactically smart and always in command of the tie.

Pogba underlined the sense of helplessness: “We would have liked to score early but they didn’t let us, they played a great game, so there was nothing we could do, especially after they managed to score.”

Barzagli believes Juventus have a step to climb in order to reach Bayern’s level. Champions League experience, he also notes, played a large part in their opponents success. “We need to improve in order to reach their level and maybe by working hard we can get there. This was our first Champions League in many years, for some of us the first full stop. Bayern have been at this level for five or six years, but we are just dipping our toes in.”

A number of Juve players stepped on to the pitch last September at Stamford Bridge – or in subsequent matches – making their Champions League debuts. The campaign was Conte’s first on the sidelines. The squad and Coach will grow and learn. The core can lead Juventus in seasons to come. They may have bowed out, but the Old Lady will be back stronger following a wholly positive experience in 2012-13.

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Have your say...
@ Daniel Giambrone - i hear ur point about the EPL and money but thats all it is! the standard in 2 seasons has fallen and football is a cycle! right now germany are up and coming. Look at City what have they done last 2 seasons. Chelski are poor! yet have money, UTD well the leagues just poor and self glorified have anyone actually watched the EPL recently?! the big games are dire. this UTD has been poor for 2 seasons and STILL topping the league. Serie needs Stadiums! and better TV rights
on the 12th April, 2013 at 11:39am
Lets face it italian teams are no where in Europe Milan managed to win 2-0 at home and go to barca and cop 4 goals the days of maldini baresi that would never of happend as for juve they had no ideas v bayern and we have a long way to go its a shame for a country that in the 90,s and early 2000,s dominated European football and for Buffon to say that barzagli chellini and co are the best back 3 he played with beats me he had maldini cannavaro and nesta once now that was a defence
on the 12th April, 2013 at 10:56am
Arsenal only beat Bayern because they rested players & had the pipe & slippers on. When you consider the advantages that the EPL has in terms of finances & facilities; don't you think that they should be much further ahead than what they actually are? This season the standard has been awful, especially the defending. The fact that an average Utd side is strolling to the title says it all. But you're right, the EPL will rise again, because with the new tv deal, they will buy the best players.
on the 12th April, 2013 at 10:15am
Just dont understand what direction the clubs moving..lets not go OTT about this remember where we were last 2 seasons! sayin that thsi was a 5 year project! and im sorry but Llorente! is NOT the answer! the only good thing is he was FREE! we need quality and pace on the flanks! players who allow us to change formation! which we did last season why we have stuck with the rigid 3,5,2 is questionable! you need more in Europe! a quality striker! a top left sided MF and better quality squad players.
on the 12th April, 2013 at 10:15am
@ The old lady - Well said. And well reading what Marrota has just come out and stated looks like nothing is gonna happen anytime soon fellas in terms of top quality players as always huff and puff in the end fizzled out without a wimper is juves transfer policy! surely we are more financially stable now! then wen we got melo and diego! i mean the amount of wastage on players by marrota! is a joke! it all adds up! it just shows he is out of his depth at this level!
on the 12th April, 2013 at 10:09am
As for Galatasary, is signing the likes of Sneijder & Drogba really a smart move? These two will be costing them a fortune in wages & bonuses. Can the club sustain this? Or do they have a wealthy benefactor? They got no further & all they achieved was glorious failure.
on the 12th April, 2013 at 9:59am
boss, you'd have to be really naive if you don't consider finances as the main distinguishing factor in football. In the 1990's Italy was the dominant force, this century, the EPL & La Liga, & the reason is simply money. Do you really believe that the likes of PSG, Chelsea, City, Malaga, & Madrid etc, would be where they are now if they didn't continually spend 30+ million on individual players? Even organic clubs, like Utd, Bayern, Barca, have spent a fortune to get where they are.
on the 12th April, 2013 at 9:51am
thank u for ur comment u made my day spot on dude spot on
ps,this is my first comment on this website
on the 12th April, 2013 at 9:33am
@Viktor

Of course i would love to see those players up front playing for Juve. However reality is much different, the reality is here and now and i can't be too critical of the Juve forwards, in my opinion they would be much more impressive if they had that creativity coming from the middle.

Lazio is out now as well which means no Italians in any European competitions anymore. But i am happy that most Italian clubs fought hard in all competitions.

Next year i hope for more from all Italians
on the 12th April, 2013 at 8:24am
@Viktoria

"@mustafaa I'm pretty sure that beating barca gives you better rep in Europe then losing 0-4 in aggregate to bayern."


LOL you think acm beat the real barca on first leg? hahahaha the whole wide world wonder what happen to barca that time, and they proved it on 2nd leg.

it could be end up 6-0 in aggregate

love how u always try to give excuses that acm better than juve hahahaa
on the 12th April, 2013 at 2:16am
Relax ppl..

first year with juve on ucl and reach QF that's awesome achievement.

love to see english fans calling italy team sucks when not even single english team go to QF lol
on the 12th April, 2013 at 2:09am
oh please football is such a b*** without luck you cant go far. milan played barca like 6 times in 18months. what if bayern had to play them that early? the serie a wins the title every 3 years! and even in the deepest rock hard bottom during the crisis between 2006-2010 they won the wc had 2 cl finals and won it for the 3rd. time in 10 years! playing a staggering 5 times in the cl finals in 10 years. the crisis are over, the direction is right- the leaugue recovering fast. cant understand how italians always have to talk themselves down whereas the germans keep hyping themselves beyond the understandable level. they havent won anything in 12 years! who would have thought that dortmund would come that far? after crashing out last year, for the first time have a champ finished forth. in the group stages. were they not that lucky with a 3 months resting donezk, let alone what happened against malaga, no one would even talk about the bundesliga. everything changes very fast, like you can score 2 goals within 70 secs. football is not politics, its a here and now event. stop trying to talk some leagues stronger or for that matter weaker. i am really sick of listening about how the serie a is down and for whatever reason others like the bundesliga are not only on eyes level, but somehow even better than anyone else, just for having 2teams in the semis for the first time ever! big deal. win something first on a constant basis like the italians. and why is no one even talking this rubbish bout the english? they were even less successful. yeah right- cause spending a billion will solve their huge issues of weak defending, no identification with the teams and as a result heart and soulless performances thanks to the legionaries
on the 11th April, 2013 at 11:25pm
The future is bright for juve!! Going for 2nd scudetto. Conte's first aim was to make juve competitive again he did that and more. Secondly be competitive in Europe be a respected powerhouse again he's gain the respect of other clubs and juve are a force and deserve there place at the top again it takes time contes done wonders!! Where's your man city's, utd's, Chelsea's This season Garry??? Be interesting summer for marotta and co.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 10:42pm
Doesn't bode well for future juve losing to a bayern Munich team who have been in 2 finals in 4 years????? Great comment Garry!!! Please share more wisdom pal!! Juve team finishing 7th twice bad managers a certain calciopoli didn't help!!! Get real pal, juve are a work in progress hungry manager, hungry players, great stadium. Future is bright you idiot!!! Thrashed the European champions!!! Doesn't bode well for future, stick to crappy premier league don't comment as you obviously know naff all!
on the 11th April, 2013 at 10:35pm
Only time will tell whether Marotta and Paratici are getting it right in their choice of youth players who are being recruited on a regular (almost prolific) basis.
Leali, Bonatini, Kabashi, Untersee, Rugani, Appelt, Buoy, Masi, Boakye, Beltrame - all brought in by Marotta and Paratici and considerable sums of cash spent on many of them. Will any of them follow in the footsteps of young players like Verratti and El Shaarawy or will they end being decent Serie B/lower end of serie A type players?
on the 11th April, 2013 at 9:23pm
The fact that Juventus cannot bring in the very top players is unlikely to change any time soon.
My main concern is that we seem to misjudge which youngsters will make the grade (Pogba aside). There is no doubt that both Verratti and El Shaarawy were considered, but both have ended up elsewhere and are now established are worth stupid amounts of money.
Why spend 11 million on Giovinco when that could have brought in Verratti? Error by Marotta.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 9:17pm
Then this would be their team

.........................Buffon................

.............Barzagli....Bonnuci....Chiellini.....

..Corchia/cuadrado.....Vidal...Marchisio.....Assamoah

....................Pastore/Isco.........

.............Llorente.....Lewandowski/Suarez/Aguero

Pirlo would come in for Pastore/Isco but play a deeper play maker role, so they could alternate between the two formations.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 8:38pm
Juve should (will) keep Conte. They need to sell Quag/Matri, padoin, giacherrini then bring in llorente (done deal), lewandowski,suarez or aguero (if he becomes available but unlikely) Corchia for the right wing back position or cuadrado and then an AM like pastore or Isco + a young back up center back who can act as cover now, but grow to replace barzagli when he becomes too old. They DO NOT need to waste money on someone like Higuain, who although I do rate and is a good finisher, has no pace!
on the 11th April, 2013 at 8:33pm
As a Juve fan, I knew they wouldn't get through the QF, not against any team. These other teams have things Juve don't have -- Messi, Ronaldo, Ibra, Drogba, Robben. If rival fans fear these players, and we do, the players fear them too, especially the under-experienced players. Until Juve have at least one player that can inspire fear, they won't advance beyond the QF in this competition.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 8:15pm
That's Italy's best team by a country mile - thrashed. Doesn't bode well for the future at all.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 8:08pm
BOSS you sound like a typically pathetic epl fan...who knows about next season?
...anyone can claim anything but for this season FACT Juventus progressed further than ANY English team!
on the 11th April, 2013 at 8:07pm
Juve need to reshape, 3-5-2 is useless against fast attacking teams unless you sit back and counter. juve need to use a 4-3-3 come summer with llorente in strike, giovinco on the left and jovetic/cuadrado on the right because they'll fail against the elite. ALso look at Napoli last season in the cl, no experience yet they scored 3 past Bayern in two legs. its because they're suited to that formation as they defend and counter against the big teams
on the 11th April, 2013 at 8:04pm
@Muuustafa

Lol, so all of a sudden im not a football fan? ? Why are you always posting so much nonsense? You realized there is never anyone that concur to your absurd posts?

- "Bayern is the best team this year and Juve's strikers were not the problem. The problem is with the guys like you that consider themselves coaches or football fans." -

What does that even mean? The problem for Juve is that people have opinions?
Please explain yourself with this stunning statement
on the 11th April, 2013 at 7:55pm
Juve's problems yesterday were not solely in attack but also in Midfield. Juve could not win the ball back when Bayern had it and at times Bayern kept possession for a whole 2 minutes! I think Juve is in need of a game changing Strike who can take direct runs at the oppositions Defense and something is definitely lacking in MF and a good Left Back. As a Juve fan, it hurt to see us crash out yesterday but you can't take anything away from Bayern they are a cut above.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 7:13pm
@ BOSS

The biggest troll of FI Blog is back.

I see through you. And I saw Juve humiliating your Chelsea and sending them out crying of the competition.

Let's see when Barca or Madrid meet Bayern.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 6:57pm
And also as an italian and a serie a fan I cheer on all italian teams in the CL or El because IT BENEFITS SERIE A WHEN THEY WIN. I could care less about stupid rivalries and all that BS. The fact is, we lost a spot to the Bundesliga and we need to get it back. Thank god Juve did as well as they did and hopefully we don't have teams like Udinese and Sampdoria making the CL anymore and selling all their players and getting bounced in the group stages. At least Juve tries to win unlike others
on the 11th April, 2013 at 6:55pm
Some of you are pathetic with your comments bayern are a step above juve in terms of finance and players. It isn't an excuse when your playing against the best team in Europe. Champions league is very different to a league game, you dont see pescara in champions league do you "boss"?? As for arsenal they beat them but bayern was always confident in there ability to see out the game in the second leg They raised there game against juve which they only showed glimpses against arsenal in both legs
on the 11th April, 2013 at 6:47pm
Juve must sell vucinic fast and bring in a better world class replacement because all season mostly he has been poor in the champions league, I can't believe how bad juve were over the two legs, next season i will always be hoping for better in the champions league, thats if conte brings in the world class players needed.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 6:46pm
Question - What is Juve's weakest position? Answer - Striker
Which makes me wonder why does Conte insist on playing 2 strikers at all times? If those were my strikers I would want to see less of those clowns and more of Pogba or Giaccherini in a 3-5-1-1 or even a 3-6-1. Its almost like Juve was playing with 9 guys. An extra dude in midfield could have checked Schweinsteiger and given Bayern less space and time to control the game the way they did. Conte's insistence of 2 strikers is ridiculous
on the 11th April, 2013 at 6:46pm
That sums up Italian football. Make the pathetic excuses of finances, no cl experience. Why is every1 making out juve have never played in the competition. What is different in the cl to a league game. Don't blame experience. Galatasary have just come back to the competition, made brilliant moves n transfer market with sneijder and drogba, and scored 3 past real. Juve r a joke. There is no excuse. Next year will see the rise of the epl again. Even arsenal beat Munich at home. Serie sucks
on the 11th April, 2013 at 6:01pm

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