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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 May, 2003, 23:57 GMT 00:57 UK
Juve were unlucky says Lippi
Juve captain Alessandro del Piero and his dejected team-mates
Defeated Juventus coach Marcello Lippi rued his side's poor luck as they lost to Serie A rivals AC Milan in the final of the Champions League.

Lippi believed everything that could go wrong did go wrong for the Turin club, who lost 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out.

Juventus were hit before the match by the suspension of midfielder Pavel Nedved, their most gifted player.

Matters went from bad to worse as defender Igor Tudor was forced off in the first half because of injury.

Juve managed to hold their Italian rivals to a goalless draw over the 120 minutes but lost on penalties as they ran out of gas and several players opted out of taking the spot kicks.

Lippi said: "It's not that they refused, more that they didn't feel like it.

"Players have their feelings. You can't push them if they just don't feel like it."

Everything went wrong for us, from the injuries and suspension onwards
Marcello Lippi

It was a third defeat in four finals with Juventus for Lippi and it left the level-headed coach blaming this latest disappointment on fate.

"What can I say? It went terribly badly," said Lippi.

"Everything went wrong for us, from the injuries and suspension onwards.

"I'm just so disappointed. Everyone was so tired and we didn't have the fuel in the tank to take the opportunities that presented themselves.

"It was an ill-starred night for us."

Juventus started the penalty shootout badly, with David Trezeguet's weak effort easily saved by Brazilian goalkeeper Dida.

Alessandro Birindelli brought Juve back into the match with a successful strike but Marcelo Zalayeta and Paolo Montero missed theirs, leaving Alessandro Del Piero needing to score to keep the match alive.

It's just incredible - I don't have the words to explain it
AC Milan's Clarence Seedorf

Del Piero kept his cool to make it 2-2 but Andriy Shevchenko made no mistake with the final penalty to hand the trophy to Milan.

Lippi's third successive defeat in a Champions League final clearly hurt but he defended his own and his team's record in the strongest terms.

"You can't call us losers," he said. "We've won the Italian title in the last two years.

"Milan are a marvellous team but you can't say they're better than us."






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