Conte hails Casillas as Real Madridís savior in 2-2 draw with Juventus
Juventus manager Antonio Conte hailed Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas as savoir for the Spanish side in the 2-2 draw in an electrifying Champions League battle at Turin on Tuesday night. Conte believes Casillas “saved” his team from defeat at the hands of the Bianconeri.
In spite of recording a draw Juventus are positioned at the bottom of their Champions League group. Conte insists his side has made a “step forward” in the competition, although dreams of Juventus entering the knockout stages of the tournament are becoming increasingly hard to picture.
Juventus drew first blood just before the first-half ended. Juventus midfielder drew a foul within the box which resulted in the referee pointing towards the spot. Arturo Vidal stepped up and converted the kick into a goal.
Real Madrid came back after the interval strongly. Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale put the visitors into the lead with two goals in eight minutes. However, Juventus striker Fernando Llorente came up with the equalizer that allowed his side to pick a point from the game.
Conte was happy with his side’s performance, but conceded that the man of the match award should be handed over to Real Madrid’s shot-stopper Casillas.
“I’d rate our performance very highly. The team did very well and the first half was perfect in every respect, organization, quality and intensity,” Conte told Sky Sport Italia.
“In the second half we suffered a little at keeping that tempo with such a packed fixture list. When the intensity drops against Real Madrid, you inevitably risk paying the price, especially when Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale are running at you on the counter.
“Iker Casillas was man of the match in my view and saved Real Madrid on several occasions.”
Conte believes his side could have won the game, but versatility and the amount of talent in Real Madrid’s team was astounding.
“Tonight the draw could’ve been a win, but Real Madrid are an Armada with players who can change the game at any moment,” Conte added.
“What satisfies me the most is the hunger these players put on to the field and the way they faced Real Madrid openly. We weren’t nervous or too respectful and that is how it should be for us to grow in the Champions League.
“We proved on the pitch that the difference in economic strength between the clubs was really not that visible.”