The Italian coach has dismissed suggestions that the Bianconeri are struggling, while he voiced his dismay with the referee’s performance
Juventus coach Antonio Conte has insisted that the Serie A champions are not suffering a crisis following their 2-1 Champions League defeat at the hands of Real Madrid on Wednesday evening.
The Bianconeri are yet to record their first win in Europe this season, but Conte feels that his men showed at the Santiago Bernabeu that they have what it takes to compete with the very best, regardless of the final result.
“Last year we were outclassed by Bayern while this season we played a great game against a team who are more or less at the same level as the European champions,” Conte said at a press conference.
“So I don’t think we are in crisis as many said on the eve of the game – quite the opposite actually.
“We played at the same level as Madrid and we could even have won. Now everything is certainly more difficult but we proved we can be competitive against any opponent.
“We proved we can play at this level if we really want to. We only lost due to a couple of small details, a couple of things that did not go our way.”
Conte then went on to discuss referee Manuel Grafe’s performance after the German awarded Madrid a penalty and dismissed Giorgio Chiellini and he was not impressed with the official’s display.
He added: “The referee certainly affected the game with some dubious decisions, such as Chiellini’s red card and the penalty call.
“I can only laugh about it. It was definitely not an elbow and it can’t be considered a clear goalscoring opportunity either. If that was a clear goalscoring opportunity, then anything is…”
Juventus sit third in Group B with two points from three games.