Antonio Conte reflected on an “unjust result” as Juventus fell 2-1 away to Benfica in the first-leg of its Europa League semifinal with the Portuguese giant. Benfica jumped out to an early 1-0 lead thanks to a 2nd minute header from Ezequiel Garay. Juve striker Carlos Tevez then brought the match level with a fine solo run in the 73rd minute before substitute Lima scored the winner in with six minutes to go.
“I think there is great regret for this unjust result,” the Juve coach told Sky Sport Italia. “The game didn’t start in the best way, as we conceded after a couple of minutes from a set play and knew the enthusiasm for Benfica.” He added: “After that we took control and allowed Benfica practically nothing. We felt from one moment to the next they would capitulate, but instead this goal arrived out of nowhere. It’s a shame, as at that moment we were pushing for our second goal. We fell asleep at the back. We fell asleep. Let’s say we were caught napping there. ...”
Conte noted that the series is now wide open with the return leg at the Juventus Stadium in Turin next Thursday: “We have understood that the semifinal is open and the Juventus Stadium, when it wants to, is capable of matching the extraordinary atmosphere in Lisbon. It’s a Final we all want.”