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Juve fought but lost (1-2) vs Real Madrid. Conte furious
Champions League's path is a bumpy ride for bianconeri, which sit now in third position in a group dominated by Ancelotti's team
by Federico Formica
It was a sink-or-swim match for Juventus. Bianconeri swam, playing a good game at Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu but Giorgio Chiellini sank his team mates with two fatal errors. At the end of the match, Juve's coach Antonio Conte was furious with the referee: “The game has been influenced by heavy arbitral mistakes”.

Now the path for the qualification is very narrow for Juve: Real Madrid is dominating the group with 9 points out of 9, then there is Roberto Mancini's Galatasaray with 4, Juventus with 2 and København with one point only, which was gained against the Turin club.

Conte decided to display a 4-3-1-2 scheme with Angelo Ogbonna and Martin Caceres as full-backs and Marchisio or Vidal behind the attacking duo formed by Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente. Carlo Ancelotti gave Karim Benzema an opportunity, but the French striker wasted it playing a very poor game.

The game was immediately an uphill battle for Juventus after 4 minutes with Real Madrid's opener by Cristiano Ronaldo, marvellously served by Angel Di Maria, one of the best players of the night. But la Vecchia Signora did not suffer the blow, starting to display a fluid manoeuvre, which lead to two shots by Tevez and then to the equalizer: a cross by Caceres was too long, but Paul Pogba (the best bianconero of the match) was able to save it by putting the ball in the box, where Fernando Lllorente was ready to score. This was the best moment for Juventus, which pressed the blancos and then shot in fast counter attacks. But 6 minutes after the equalizer, Giorgio Chiellini glaringly clung to Sergio Ramos in the box. Cristiano Ronaldo is not a guy who likes to miss a penalty, so he scored.

Chiellini committed the second terrible mistake three minutes after the start of the second half, trying to give a slap to Cristiano Ronaldo while the Portuguese was running towards the penalty area. CR7 emphasized it all (it seemed like Chiellini had shot him with an AK-47) and the German referee Grafe decided to show the red card.

The virtual end of the match? Not at all. Although Tevez almost disapperead from the pitch, Juventus continued to push with Vidal, Pogba above all, although the ball-possession turned in favor of Real Madrid. Minute after minute, the bianconeri were more exhausted and to even the appearence of Sebastian Giovinco changed that trend.

The Blancos almost scored the 3-1 with an outstanding play on the right flank performed by Di Maria and Arbeloa, but Benzema incredibly threw the ball high up from a close range. In the last 20 minutes Juve had the will, but not the energy, to find the draw.

This is the worst moment for Juventus during Conte's era. How will the coach from Salento fix his team? Next sunday, his squad will have to face Genoa at Juventus Stadium. False steps are not permitted anymore.

Thursday, October 24 th, 2013
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