Champions League

Juventus cruise to victory

2013-02-13 06:57
Antonio Conte (AFP)

Paris - Juventus took a huge step towards the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday by beating Celtic 3-0 away, and although French outfit Paris Saint-Germain also won away, 2-1 at Valencia, it came at a cost.

The huge investment made in players by PSG's Qatari owners was paying handsome dividends until a catastrophic final few minutes which saw them concede a goal and then have star Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic rather harshly sent off.

The volatile Swede will now miss next month's second leg as a result.

It could therefore fall upon the shoulders of their latest high-profile signing, David Beckham - who was watching from the stands - to produce some of his old inspiration to see them into the last eight.

Things were much more straightforward for Juventus in Glasgow, however.

They silenced the raucous home crowd within three minutes as a mistake by Nigerian defender Efe Ambrose - perhaps still feelign the effects of his country's Africa Cup of Nations triumph on Sunday - let in Alessandro Matri for the opening goal

Further goals late in the second half from Claudio Marchisio and Mirko Vucinic ensured there was no repeat of the famous home win over Barcelona in the group stage.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon was not happy with the referee, but accepted that his decision to play Ambrose had backfired.

"The scoreline flatters Juventus," he said.

"For 70-odd minutes we were by far the better side but you can't give away sloppy goals.

"We took a gamble on Efe Ambrose but he was poor for the first goal and he missed a great chance to equalise. We switched off for the second and third goals."

Juventus coach Antonio Conte was delighted with how his side handled a hostile crowd.

"It was a difficult match and in this atmosphere with Celtic playing with the intensity they did we could have lost the match," he said.

"But my players kept their heads and showed great maturity and overall it was an excellent result for us."

PSG looked to be cruising as first-half goals from Argentinian duo Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore gave them a comfortable lead until the mad last two minutes where Valencia's French centre-back Adil Rami scored and Ibrahimovic saw red.

PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti - who will also be without the increasingly influential young Italian midfielder Marco Verratti for the second leg due to suspension - was not happy with the sending-off decision.

"I don't understand the decision," said the Italian.

"He went for the ball at the same time as another player did. It was a forceful tackle but a football tackle. I really don't understand."

His Valencia counterpart Ernesto Valverde said his side had not been cautious enough and discounted the importance of the absence of Ibrahimovic in the second leg.

"They were very strong. Every counter-attack they had was very dangerous," he admitted.

"We managed to get a late goal, which means we still have a chance, but we must take into account the fact they have some extraordinary players."

Read more on:    juventus  |  champions league  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

ASEC beat Chiefs 'B' team

2014-04-20 18:12

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
22 April 2014
Atlético de Madrid v Chelsea, Vicente Calderón 20:45
23 April 2014
Real Madrid v FC Bayern München, Santiago Bernabéu 20:45
29 April 2014
FC Bayern München v Real Madrid, Allianz Arena 20:45
Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which team will win the 2013/14 Champions League title?

 
 
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.