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Football | Italy

Antonio Conte © Gallo Images

Conte rues a Juve performance to forget



Juventus coach Antonio Conte was left ruing a performance to forget after the Serie A leaders squandered a one-goal lead and one-man advantage at home to struggling Sampdoria on Sunday.

"It's a difficult defeat to digest but it's part of the game," he told reporters after a 2-1 defeat which saw his side's lead at the top cut to five points. "It hasn't been a performance that we would willingly remember.

"We were in the lead with 11 against 10. It's a game which makes you reflect and which will help us get better. It's annoying to lose this type of game.

"We had some players who were not fully fit but in the next month and a half, we are going to have to grit our teeth. Sampdoria had a bit of luck but I congratulate them."

His opposite number Delio Rossi said teenager Mauro Icardi's two second-half goals fully justified the club's decision not to release the Argentine for the South American Under-20 championship starting on Wednesday.

"I think it is ridiculous that we were expected to send him to an Under-20 tournament when he'd have a much better chance of making his mark against Juventus," Rossi told reporters

"This was an incredible achievement," he added. "We won against the champions of Italy with 10 men. I made a tactical change at halftime, but the lads were amazing to come back."

Inter Milan coach Andrea Stramaccioni, whose side lost 3-0 at Udinese, was fuming about a penalty he said his side should have been awarded when the game was still goalless.

"We have not been lucky with refereeing decisions," he claimed after the referee refused to award a penalty to Rodrigo Palacio and instead booked the Argentine for diving.

"It was a penalty for Palacio and a red card for Maurizio Domizzi. You can't not award a penalty like that, it's weird, and the episode clearly influenced the game. It was a penalty and red card, instead we got a yellow for simulation.

"I don't have any suspicions about the good faith of the referees, they are doing their job but we are out of luck," he added.

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