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12 Feb 2013

Conte delighted with "hard-fought victory"

Bianconeri coach after 3-0 triumph over Celtic: "Not easy to win here, I've rarely seen such an electric atmosphere anywhere"

The Celtic Park faithful might not be able to score, as Gigi Buffon rightly pointed out prior to the game, but they certainly lived up to their billing as the Scots' 12th man. And in such a context the Bianconeri's 3-0 first-leg win in Glasgow takes on even greater significance.

Antonio Conte was understandably proud of his troops after they showed bags of character to come away with a top-notch result: "I played at lots of European grounds in the Champions League during my playing career and rarely have I seen such an electric atmosphere anywhere as here tonight. It was absolutely booming, I couldn't even make myself heard with my players.

"It was a massive win and hard-fought too. We stood strong when they came out at a high tempo and we did what we could, then as soon as they eased off the accelerator a little, we hit them. We got the goal and created a number of other threats. I'm pleased, we're growing. This team has important qualities – apart from their footballing ability – and they keep showing that time and time again."