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Capello criticises Juve fans after European exit

By Staff
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TURIN, Italy, Apr 6 (Reuters) Juventus coach Fabio Capello criticised his team's supporters after they turned on the Italian champions during their exit from the Champions League at the hands of English club Arsenal.

After losing 2-0 in London last week, Juve could only manage a goalless draw yesterday at their Delle Alpi stadium and sections of the 46,000 crowd chanted insults at the players near the end.

''I found it inexplicable that when we needed their support we got that instead,'' said Capello whose side also lost to English opponents at the same stage last season with defeat to eventual winners Liverpool.

Capello, whose team currently have a nine-point lead at the top of Serie A and look certain to win their second successive title, came in for some personal criticism with some fans chanting against him.

''If we want to hurt ourselves we can continue like this, maybe we are masochists,'' said Capello when asked about the reaction of the fans.

Juventus vice-president Roberto Bettega, a former striker with the club, was also angered by the chanting of the supporters.

''It is immensely disappointing to be knocked out of the Champions League but this evening part of our supporters also missed a great chance,'' said Bettega.

Capello defended his team and said they had been beaten by ''exceptional opponents''.

''It was a difficult match played with determination and aggression by both teams. They were very careful but dangerous on the counter-attack.

''In the second half we caused them some problems but we couldn't get the goal. We have to accept defeat and after the game I congratulated the team on their performance against exceptional opponents,'' he said.

Capello hinted that the double strain of competing for the title in Serie A as well as European success may have influenced his team's fortunes.

''At the start of the season we set out aiming to win both, the Champions League only a little more than Serie A. But it is very difficult to win both -- we will try again,'' he said.

Reuters PG VP0435

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