Nantes angry at Juventus style of play


FRENCH champions Nantes branded Juventus as cheats after the Italians moved to the brink of the Champions' Cup final with a 2-0 victory in their semi final, first leg in Turin last night.

Veteran striker Gianluca Vialli and Vladimir Jugovic were both on target for the Italians in the second half of a match played in a drizzle.

But controversy raged immediately after the match ended as a furious Nantes manager, Jean Claude Suaudeau, went on live television to slam Vialli as "a clown."

Guy Roux, manager of French league leaders Auxerre, in the studio, also weighed in. "It is not an art, it's cheating," said Roux referring to how Juventus had actively gone looking for free kicks, leading to seven Nantes bookings.

With the French side on the rack late in the first half, English referee Dermot Gallagher dismissed midfielder Bruno Carotti right on half time for a second bookable offence after a foul on Portuguese midfielder Paulo Vialli finally broke the deadlock four minutes into the second half, swivelling to dispatch a low volley past Dominique Casagrande in the Nantes goal after former Sampdoria teammate Pietro Vierchowod had headed on a right wing corner from Alessandro Del Piero.

Earlier, Casagrande, produced a stunning save from a Vialli bicycle kick off 36 minutes after Padovano headed down from a centre by Angelo Di Livio.

The Italians hit the decisive second goal in the 66th minute, Vladimir Jugovic, yet another former Sampdoria man, taking a neat through ball from Sousa before blasting home a thumping right foot shot from well outside the box.