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Conte accepts blame for dropped points

14 January 2013-PA Sport

Conte Juventus

Blame... Antonio Conte was at fault for Parma's equalising goal (Getty)

Head coach Antonio Conte shouldered all the blame for the late goal that saw Juventus surrender two valuable points at Parma on Sunday.

After last week's surprise defeat to Sampdoria, the Bianconeri saw its dominance of Serie A further eroded as Nicola Sansone cancelled out Andrea Pirlo's deflected free-kick to help maintain Parma's lengthy unbeaten home record with a 1-1 draw against the leaders.

Conte had cut a furious figure after Samp emerged victorious in Turin but there was no such anger in the press room at the Stadio Ennio Tardini.

Musing on Parma's 78th-minute equaliser, he told juventus.com: "I told (Mirko) Vucinic to let the ball run, he left it and (Gabriel) Paletta intercepted to play Sansone in on goal. I take responsibility for the goal conceded.

"It's a shame because we deserved to win the game. We played against a strong side, unbeaten at home and had every possibility of taking all three points.

"If it wasn't for that goal we'd be talking about a Juventus side capable of silencing the Tardini with a convincing performance.

"We always showed desire to dictate the game and not sit back. We were in control of the encounter and it's a pity to drop two points.

"If I was angry about how the Sampdoria defeat materialised, then today I'm happy with the performance displayed."

Lazio closed to within three points of Conte's men with a 2-0 victory over Atalanta, with Napoli also staying in touch following a comfortable 3-0 win against Palermo, with Conte hoping his team has the steel for the fight.

"The championship has always been an open contest and we know we must fight all the way," he added.

"There are top quality sides who can hold their own such as Napoli, Lazio, Inter and Milan. It won't be easy to retain last season's title."

Parma head coach Roberto Donadoni was full of superlatives for his battling players and their never-say-die attitude.

"Very good, they were really very good," he told fcparma.com. "We kept our feet on the ground and I'm very happy for the players, who committed fully to the match.

"Today's was yet another result achieved through a sensational team performance. Now we have to keep showing we are good enough to face any team as good as Juve."

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