Juve cruise to win over nine-man Roma
Juventus boss Antonio Conte said he was only “moderately satisfied” with the reigning Serie A champion’s 3-0 victory over closest title contender Roma.
Juventus moved eight points clear at the top of the table as they condemned nine-man Roma to its first league defeat of the season.
However, the dominant victory did little to appease Conte who labelled the win as nothing more than a “stepping stone” on the club’s path to silverware.
“I am only ever moderately satisfied until we achieve our targets, so this remains a stepping stone, but nothing definitive. Our satisfaction therefore has to remain moderate,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“There’s an entire second half of the season to go and we must do well. These eight points are important, but must not become an illusion, as if they rob us of the concentration and desire we need then we’ll be in real trouble. Anything could happen.
“Let’s not forget that Roma won their opening 10 games, yet in Week 18 we are eight points in front of them.
“I think the desire to win is a philosophy of life and I tried to transmit that to my players. There are others here who already know what that means, like Gigi Buffon and Arturo Vidal. They all realised it’s great to win and want to continue doing it, but to achieve that you need great humility, hunger and the willingness to work for one another.”
Meanwhile, Roma boss Rudi Garcia believes the loss has done little to derail the club from achieving their targets this season.
“There are another 60 points available, but the title is not our objective,” Garcia told Sky Sport Italia. “Our objective is to get back into Europe, so we are now second and that is a good place to be in. After that, we’ll see what happens.
“We played a very good first half and I had forgotten we were playing on the home turf of the Serie A leaders, who usually kept possession and pushed opponents back into their own half here.
“Unfortunately, they scored at the first chance and we didn’t take ours. It hurt to concede straight after the restart. Juve did well on set plays and we have to work on some issues.
“In my view it is a problem of efficiency. Neither side had that many chances, so you’ve got to take them when they arrive. We know this is football and Juve have a ruthless team, so we must learn to be ruthless too.
“It is always difficult to play away to Juve and keep a clean sheet. They have very strong strikers, but I have no doubt that in the first half we played the right game. In order to win you also need luck in important moments and tonight the luck was more with Juventus than with us.”
Garcia refused to comment on the dismissals of Daniele De Rossi and Leandro Castan but did admit playing with only nine men hurt his side’s ability to mount a comeback.
“I did not see anything from the touchline, so I prefer not to comment,” Garcia said. “It’s difficult to end the game with nine men, that is true, but we did not lose because of that. When Daniele was sent off, it was already 2-0 for Juve.”