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Aug 19, 2013

Juventus ready to defend their title

Antonio Conte is confident his Juventus side are ready for to secure their third successive Scudetto after the 4-0 demolition of Lazio in the Supercoppa.

Juve captain Gianluigi Buffon lifts the Supercoppa trophy.
Gianluigi Buffon lifts the Supercoppa trophy.

Juve had been struggling for results in pre-season, but Sunday’s emphatic win shattered the illusion that Juve are on the slide as they prepare to defend their Serie A title.

“I always knew that we would have the right attitude for this game,” Conte told RAI television. “And that was the case. It is going to be a difficult year for us and we’re going to need the motivation we showed today, playing with our minds and our hearts.

“I never felt I had lost my team. In fact, our preparations have been fantastic, without any injuries, apart from the one to [Claudio] Marchisio tonight. For the second year running, we’ve followed the Scudetto with the Supercoppa and that is what I would sign for again this season.”

Lazio boss Vladimir Petkovic could only apologise to the supporters but said the defeat would serve as a lesson to his team.

“I’m sorry for our fans and for everybody here, and apologise for this, but we have got to turn the page,” the Serbian said. “As soon as they scored their second goal, we gave up.”

The Biancoceleste came into the game at their Stadio Olimpico home in buoyant mood and were convinced they could pick up the first piece of silverware of the season. Instead, they were left with more questions than answers a week before the start of the season.

“We’ve got to do some soul-searching, starting with me,” Petkovic said. “We need to recognise our own errors and look ourselves in the face, talk about things and start over.

“Our path starts here. After defeats like this, you’ve got to react and I’m certain we’ll be ready for the first game in the league against Udinese. Against them and against Juve in Turin, you’ll see a different Lazio.”

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