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Conte defends celebrations

Juventus coach Antonio Conte has defended his exuberant celebrations in the wake of his team’s 2-0 win against Bologna on Saturday.

Bologna counterpart Stefano Pioli took offence to the 43-year-old’s actions, labelling them disrespectful, but the former Siena boss said he was only objecting due to an aversion to Juventus.

“If I can’t even celebrate with my fans after such an important victory, I don’t know what you can do any more,” Conte told reporters after the match.

“I know that it annoys many people when we win, but there was no lack of respect whatsoever. There are so many other horrible things elsewhere, like throwing rocks at team buses, so what’s wrong if I want to celebrate with my fans?

“To be happy at winning another Scudetto is considered a lack of respect? I was just celebrating alongside my fans, while the gestures were spontaneous towards my daughter.”

The win took Juve 12 points clear at the top of the table, but Conte has warned his team not to get complacent in the title run-in.

“We’ve taken a big step forward, but there are still 27 points to play for. We’re achieving important things and must continue,” he said.

“Today we faced a team who approached the fixture off the back of three victories, and if we had lost we would have handed a boost to the sides behind us.

“Instead we deserved to win and I’m happy with how the lads played. We play good football and I’m proud of this team.”

Pioli felt Conte’s celebrations were a little too emphatic, but said he had spoken with the Juve boss.

“Conte’s celebration was a little exaggerated, because it was not just aimed at his own team. In any case, we already talked it over and cleared the air,” he said.

“Juve played well and proved they are a great team. We tried to keep up the tempo, but had hoped to create more scoring opportunities and fell away after the break. Juve created little until the goal.”

Sun 17 March, 2013
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