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11 Dec 2013 - in: Champions League

Conte: "Different pitch, different outcome"

Antonio Conte believes the result against Galatasaray this afternoon could have been very different in better conditions: “That wasn't football out there today, but we shouldn't have come into the last match still needing to qualify”

Antonio Conte has lamented the almost impossible pitch Galatasaray and Juve were forced to play on this afternoon, but also acknowledges that his team's elimination didn't come about solely in Istanbul.

Speaking after the game, Conte began: "I can only praise my players who gave everything on a pitch which penalised us more: that wasn't football.

Mancini said it shouldn't have gone ahead? I heard that and I said to the UEFA delegate that I agreed, but no one listened to us. I'm sure the game would have finished differently had it been played on a different surface. They were better at turning it into a scrap.

"The only thing we can criticise ourselves for is having come into the last game still needing to qualify and we realised that today anything could happen. Now we get straight back into league and Coppa Italia action, thinking about the three games we have before the winter break. 

"We'll need to focus on the Europa League further down the line, but we'll definitely give it our best shot, just as we did with the Champions League."