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Lippi apologises for lame start
Tuesday 26 November, 2002

Marcello Lippi chose to make light of the disastrous start to their match at Deportivo La Coruna.

“We got stuck in traffic,” joked the Coach, “and Juventus only turned up 15 minutes after kick-off. We just weren’t there and can only apologise to the fans.”

“We were surprised in two easily avoidable goals and only got out there after the 2-0. For an hour and 15 minutes we had the better of the game, but had a disastrous start and paid the price.”

The eventual 2-2 draw can be considered a bonus after they went 2-0 behind in the first 11 minutes.

“Deportivo are an excellent side of great quality,” noted Lippi, “but my players risked leaving this Stadium with a terrible defeat. Instead, their fightback proved to me that they can play and win against anyone.”

There was also controversy as Alessandro Del Piero had a goal disallowed for a push on the goalkeeper.

“I doubt it was really a push and the linesman had started running towards the centre to give the goal.”

“That incident reminds me of the chaotic goal that Inter scored against us at the last minute. It was very similar and that goal was given, but this was disallowed.”

“The rotation system is not only a physical thing to rest some stars,” he added, “it is to keep the whole team as part of what I hope will be a very busy and extraordinary season.”

Alessandro Birindelli sparked the comeback with a magnificent goal.

“We gave them far too much space in the first 15 minutes,” said the defender, “though I hope my goal gave us the extra push to get back into it.”

“But in the second half we could have scored more had it not been for some very close offside decisions.”

Deportivo 2-2 Juventus

Group D

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