Antonio Conte lauds Juventus defending

Juventus boss Antonio Conte during the Champions League match against Celtic on February 12, 2013
© PA Photos
Antonio Conte says that Juventus's physical defending from corners was all planned ahead of their Champions League meeting with Celtic.

Juventus manager Antonio Conte has admitted that his side harboured special defensive tactics to combat Celtic from corners during their win at Parkhead.

The Serie A outfit took their chances in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League encounter at Parkhead, and raced to a 3-0 win thanks to goals from Alessandro Matri, Claudio Marchisio and Mirko Vucinic.

The Bhoys were unhappy with the Italians' physicality from set pieces, and Conte concedes that it was all part of the plan.

"We changed something compared to our usual defending, as they had scored 40% of their Champions League goals from corners and set pieces. We were only surprised once with a header over," Conte told Sky Sports News.

"We did pretty well defensively apart from at times in the first half when we went too deep. It was a good performance, we knew Celtic were a good side and they might not be mentioned among the top teams in Europe for many years, but they beat Barcelona and eliminated Benfica and Spartak Moscow.

"I think they were slightly surprised by Juventus, as they expected to get something more on home turf, but we prepared well in defence and attack. We had as much possession as they allowed us, because Celtic were going at 100mph and rested all their players at the weekend, whereas we faced Fiorentina on Saturday."

The return leg takes place in Turin on March 6.

Juventus boss Antonio Conte during the Champions League match against Celtic on February 12, 2013
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1AC Milan11003033
2Inter Milan11003033
3Juventus11003033
4Napoli11003123
5AC Chievo VeronaChievo11002113
6Sampdoria11002113
7Roma11001013
8Bologna10101101
9Torino10101101
10Genoa10100001
11Lazio10100001
12SPALSPAL10100001
13SassuoloSassuolo10100001
14BeneventoBenevento100112-10
15Udinese100112-10
16Atalanta BCAtalanta100101-10
17Hellas VeronaHellas Verona100113-20
18CagliariCagliari100103-30
19Crotone100103-30
20Fiorentina100103-30