Juventus coach Ciro Ferrara has received the backing of the club's president after they were knocked out of the Champions League following a humiliating 4-1 defeat at home to Bayern Munich. They needed just a draw to qualify for the knockout stages and went ahead through David Trezeguet's 19th-minute strike. But Bayern stormed back thanks to a penalty from goalkeeper Hans-Jorg Butt and goals from Ivica Olic, Mario Gomez and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk.
"The coach is not in danger. Ciro is and remains the coach of Juventus," said Juve president Jean Claude Blanc. "We now move forward with our project." Media reports have suggested that Italy coach Marcello Lippi will return to the Stadio Delle Alpi after next year's World Cup. "It's up to others to judge this elimination," said Ferrara, whose side also lost away at Bordeaux in their previous Group A game.
"In the last two matches we haven't done anything to deserve to go through. Bayern were the superior side. They played like a great team and we had lots of problems." Juve, who now drop into the Europa League, beat Serie A leaders Inter Milan 2-1 on Saturday but the continued poor form of Brazilian signings Diego and Felipe Melo prompted a flurry of boos in Turin. "Tonight, I don't think we were united in meeting difficulties," said Ferrara.
"We needed big performances from Diego and Felipe [Melo], but I don't think we can blame tonight's loss on them." Meanwhile, Ferrara's Bayern counterpart Louis van Gaal turned from villain to hero in the eyes of the Bavarians after the comprehensive win. The Dutch coach, who took charge in the summer, was under pressure with Bayern fourth in the Bundesliga and facing Champions League elimination in Italy.
Needing a victory to go through, Van Gaal opted for an attacking line-up which tore Juve apart. "We've played the last few games with the same side so if we were scouted I don't think we could have surprised Juve so much," he said. "We just simply played really well and in the dressing room afterwards all I said was 'Well done and let's continue like this'. "You could say that Juventus were bad, but you could also say that Bayern Munich were very good. We controlled the pitch and controlled the ball, and perhaps this was too much for Juventus to handle.
"We kept our shape and we wanted to keep up the pressure, even though it was hard to do so for the whole 90 minutes. "We tried to do it in our last match but we couldn't. "Tonight we did. We held on to the ball well and trusted ourselves. It is always hard against Juventus and I hope we can keep it up in our next match." Bordeaux topped the group after Jussie's goal gave them a 1-0 win over Maccabi Haifa, who are the first club in the 18-year history of the Champions League to end the group stage with no points and no goals scored.
* With Agencies