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By ESPN Staff

Ferrara admits Juventus were second best

Juventus coach Ciro Ferrara admitted his side only had themselves to blame for their failure to qualify for the knock-out stages of the Champions League.

The Turin giants needed a just a point against Bayern Munich to progress to the last 16 but were stunned by a 4-1 defeat at the Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday night. After victory over rivals Inter Milan in Serie A at the weekend, the Bianconeri were high on confidence, but they were second best to an impressive Bayern side.

Bayern keeper Hans-Jorg Butt's penalty on the half-hour mark cancelled out David Trezeguet's opening strike, before the German side went ahead shortly after the break courtesy of Ivica Olic. Two late goals sealed an impressive performance to secure their place in the last 16 at Juve's expense.

Bordeaux's 2-0 victory over Juventus in their previous match secured the French side's qualification to the next round, leaving Juve and Bayern to go head-to-head for the second qualification spot, and Ferrara admitted his side were well beaten.

"In the last two matches we haven't done anything to deserve to go through," said Ferrara. "Bayern were the superior side. They played like a great team and we had lots of problems. It's a huge disappointment not only for myself but for the players and for the fans. To leave this competition hurts.

"We have to analyse what went wrong. But I don't want to find excuses. I don't think it is right to blame several players because the performance of everyone was not up to standard. Bayern were superior in every facet of the game. They made life difficult for us and they created a lot while we did little.''

Despite the shock exit, club president Jean Claude Blanc was swift to reassure Ferrara his job was safe. "The coach is not in danger," he said. "Ciro is and remains the coach of Juventus. We move forward with our project."

Bayern coach Louis van Gaal was delighted with his side's emphatic win, as nothing less than a win would have been good enough to progress to the knock-out stages. Van Gaal went for an attacking line-up which paid dividends, but he admitted he had not played his cards close to his chest.

"We've played the last few games with the same side so if we were scouted I don't think we could have surprised Juve so much," he said. "We just simply played really well and in the dressing room afterwards all I said was 'well done and let's continue like this'."


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