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15 Apr 2013

Buffon delight after Juve bounce back in style

The captain speaks glowingly of the Bianconeri’s strong performance in the capital: “It was an important victory after a strange week”

Gigi Buffon was unable to conceal his delight after the Bianconeri emerged from a challenging encounter against European-chasing Lazio with all three points on a memorable evening at the Stadio Olimpico.

The club captain believes a strong reaction was required following the disappointment of Wednesday night’s Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich – and was fully satisfied with the team’s response in the capital.

Speaking to the media after the final whistle, Buffon said: “We did well. It wasn’t a simple game in spite of their absences. It was a strange kind of week, we had to get over a deserved Champions League exit, something that surprised us for the domineering way in which it came.”

Tonight’s victory enabled Antonio Conte’s men to stretch their lead over second-placed Napoli to 11 points, taking them a significant step closer to repeating last year’s Scudetto triumph.  

“If we’re able to reach our target of the Scudetto, be it in three or four weeks time, it would represent a great achievement. It would give us a sense of continuity from last year and I think it would be a deserved victory. We have been out in front from the start and managed to overcome some difficult moments during the season.

“Lifting the trophy as captain? I don’t live for that, I just want to celebrate with supporters, team-mates, coach and club who have always shown me respect. I hope to repay the favour by being an honourable captain until the end.”

Buffon ended his evening by moving over to applaud the Lazio faithful at the final whistle, paying tribute to a group of fans he has always enjoyed a special rapport with.

“We’re not used to these things in Italy, but Lazio fans have always shown me respect over the years and I make a point of going over to applaud them whenever I’m here. I hold them in high regard and they deserve it.”