18.12.2013 23:03 - in: Coppa Italia S

    Juventus ease into Coppa Italia last eight

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    First-half goals from Sebastian Giovinco, Martin Caceres and Fabio Quagliarella see off Serie B outfit Avellino to book the Bianconeri a quarter-final spot with tonight’s 3-0 win

    An assured display enabled the Bianconeri to ease into the quarter-finals of this season’s Coppa Italia competition with a solid 3-0 victory, wrapped up inside the opening 34 minutes of play, over Serie B outfit Avellino at Juventus Stadium.  

    Sebastian Giovinco got matters off and running with a well-taken goal from the fringes of the penalty area on seven minutes, before turning provider for Martin Caceres to touch past Giuseppe Di Masi soon afterwards.

    The hosts’ third came courtesy of Fabio Quagliarella, the only player to score in all three of this season’s competitions contested, who beat the Avellino goalkeeper at his near post with a glancing header 11 minutes shy of the interval.   

    As predicted, Antonio Conte rang the changes for the Bianconeri’s debut in this season’s Coppa Italia competition, making no less than nine alterations to Sunday’s line-up, with Federico Peluso and Kwadwo Asamoah the only survivors from the side which comprehensively dismantled Sassuolo on home turf.

    Any early exuberance from the newly-promoted opposition was soon dampened when Fabio Quagliarella fed the ball to Giovinco, who cut inside before dispatching a glorious curling strike from the edge of the area which nestled in the far corner with seven minutes played.

    Nine minutes later, and with the Bianconeri looking comfortable in possession, they made it two. Again Giovinco was involved, this time as provider, seeing his free-kick glanced home by an unmarked Caceres for the Uruguayan’s first goal of the season.  

    Despite the hosts’ undoubted dominance, Avellino, backed by an immense travelling support, matched the spirit of their fans throughout and could have halved the deficit when Davide Zappacosta’s cross found Lugi Castaldo peeling off at the back post on the half-hour mark, only for the striker to plant his header into the side netting from a promising position.

    It didn’t take long for Juventus to make the visitors rue their squandered opportunity, Quagliarella glancing Giovinco’s inviting set-piece past Di Masi at his near post to send the hosts into the break with the comfort of a three-goal cushion.

    The second half began very much in the same vein as the first, Juventus pressing forward with intent as they sought to extend their advantage. On 58 minutes, Giovinco relinquished his free-kick duties to strike partner Quagliarella, who drew a smart stop from Di Masi with a 20-yard effort that headed menacingly towards the top corner.

    The one-way traffic continued and the Biancoverdi again had their goalkeeper to thank for an instinctive save which kept Marco Motta’s close range header at bay.

    As the game began to ebb towards its latter stages, Conte took the opportunity to introduce Ouasim Bouy, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Simone Pepe, returning to the first-team fold for the first time in over a year, to the action.

    The win, clean sheet and ultimate outcome will no doubt have pleased the Bianconeri boss, who will look forward to leading his side into the competition’s last eight when the new year comes around.

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