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Mar 13, 2014

Antonio Conte optimistic after draw

Despite settling for a draw on Thursday, Juventus coach Antonio Conte said he preferred the Europa League result against Fiorentina to last weekend's win against the same opposition in Serie A.

Juventus beat Fiorentina 1-0 on Sunday, but could only manage a 1-1 draw on Thursday after Mario Gomez equalised late on.

Juventus were pegged back by a late Mario Gomez equaliser on Thursday.
Rzouki: Viola advantage

"In all honesty, I preferred this performance to Sunday's," Conte said. "Of course when you concede a goal it's hard to justify, but I feel the team created many chances, hitting the bar as well and probably expressed better football than we saw on Sunday.

"When you concede a goal there are always situations to analyse and corrections to be found. We lost the ball in midfield and this through ball took us by surprise, then Gomez did very well to control and beat Buffon as he came out."

Conte said he's optimistic entering the second leg at the Stadio Franchi next week despite having to overcome Fiorentina's away goal.

"Optimistic? I am always optimistic," he said. "It's a football match, we play to win and we have won a lot, but it's fair to draw against Fiorentina, as they are a strong side. I do feel we were a little unlucky tonight, as we could've scored more."

Earlier this season, Juventus lost 4-2 to Fiorentina after going 2-0 up and conceded another equaliser on Thursday.

"Maybe we shouldn't take the lead! On a psychological level teams have a different approach, maybe subconsciously, when going in front early on. We have gone in front in every game with Fiorentina this season," Conte said.

"The 4-2 defeat was strange, as they scored four in 20 minutes. It's true on Sunday Fiorentina pushed hard in the final stages, but I felt it was a deserved victory.

"If we look at the chances created tonight, then I'd say we were a little unlucky to draw. It was a good performance from both Juventus and Fiorentina, so I don't see why we should praise one side to the detriment of another.

"It was a great game and a fine advert for Italian football in Europe. I imagine those watching enjoyed the spectacle."

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