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Serie A heavyweights head-to-head

50-50 Challenge 2 days ago
Read
Apr 3, 2013

Conte: Bayern were 'superior'

Juventus coach Antonio Conte admitted his side were given a football lesson by one of "the top teams in Europe" as they fell to a 2-0 defeat to Bayern Munich in the first-leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

• Delaney: Bayern experience wins
• Rzouki: Juve left for dead

It took less than a minute for the Budesliga leaders to take control of the match, David Alaba's deflected shot giving Bayern the perfect start.

And Thomas Muller made the game safe for the Germans mid-way through the second-half.

The defeat left Conte with no doubt his side had encountered one of the heavyweights for this season's title.

"We certainly faced a very strong team and we didn't need tonight to tell us that," Conte told Sky Sports Italia. "Bayern are among the favourites for the trophy and in my view were very fired up after losing the final last season on home turf."

"They are physically strong, have quality and great individuals. I cannot complain about what my players did tonight.

"We have to be honest and say the better team won on the night. Seeing as we are coming back to playing at this level, it has to tell us how far away we are from the top teams in Europe."

The loss leaves Conte and his players with a difficult uphill battle to reach the semi-finals, needing to score at least two goals while keeping the Bavarians quiet for 90 minutes, if not longer.

But despite acknowledging the gap in quality between the two sides, Conte is adamant his side would not let their European dream perish without a fight.

"Bayern pressed us constantly and kept the tempo up, so we really struggled in the one-on-one due to their physicality too," he said.

"I can't get angry or point the finger at someone who could've given more this evening. In football you must be honest and admit tonight Bayern showed they were superior.

"When we managed to keep possession, we caused Bayern problems, but we always missed the final ball or the change of direction. I think Bayern deserve much of the credit for that.

"We know football is unpredictable and it'll be an incredibly difficult task to go through, but we take it as experience and try to improve where we need to improve.

"We have become competitive again in Italy, but need to keep working in order to improve on a continental level too.

"We have just started our process 16 months ago and being in a Champions League quarter-final makes us proud. It is another stepping stone on this journey we are on.

"I have always said the Champions League is a dream for us and we'd follow it, but always aware there are teams at a more advanced level. Also, don't forget they can pay millions for a single player, whereas we cannot compete on a financial level.

"These games need to help us understand how much of a gap there is from us to the superpowers. I am very happy with my group of players for giving us unforgettable nights. We must prepare for the second leg, which will be very tough, but football can have surprises."

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