Juventus
    Juventus
      09.07.2017 09:30 - in: Coppa Italia S

      #WeWonAgain: Juve claim 12th Coppa Italia crown

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      The Bianconeri win an unprecedented third straight Coppa Italia and the 12th in their history. Relive all four rounds…
      Round of 16: Juve vs Atalanta

      The Bianconeri overcame the first hurdle of their Coppa Italia title defence with a closely competed 3-2 victory over Atalanta at Juventus Stadium on 11 January 2017.

      Goals from Paulo Dybala (after 22 minutes) and Mario Mandzukic (34) had put the hosts firmly in the driving seat at half-time, but a spirited fightback by the Nerazzurri saw them twice reduce Juve’s advantage to just the single goal, as Abdoulay Konko (72) and Junior Latte Lath (81) scored either side of Miralem Pjanic’s 75th-minute penalty.

      Quarter-finals: Juve vs Milan

      Milan might have entered this quarter-final clash in fine form, but the Bianconeri had their tails up from the start and it would take only 10 minutes before they took the lead when Dybala picked up the pieces from a corner and thumped home on the volley. 

      Massimiliano Allegri’s charges kept up a head of steam straight after scoring the opener and capitalised on their dominance with a second goal 11 minutes afterwards. Juraj Kucka’s foul on the edge of the area was all the invitation Pjanic needed, as he bent an absolute beauty of a free-kick up and over the Rossoneri wall and into Gianluigi Donnarumma’s top corner, a real peach of a strike and further confirmation of his prowess from dead ball situations.

      If the first half ended with a certain sense of satisfaction for the healthy advantage assembled, the second period did not start exactly as planned, Carlos Bacca hammering home powerfully on the volley.

      Within 60 seconds of celebrating their lifeline back into the contest however, the visitors were made to come to terms with playing the remainder of the match with ten men after Manuel Locatelli received his marching orders for a second booking on the night. 

      Mandzukic and Sami Khedira had chances to put the tie to bed late on, while Neto excelled himself with a decisive save from Gerard Deulofeu at the death to ensure Juve reached the semi-finals.

      Semi-final 1st leg: Juve vs Napoli

      One of the second-half showings of the season took Juventus to within one step of the Coppa Italia final as two penalties by Dybala and a poacher’s finish from Gonzalo Higuain set up a barnstorming 3-1 semi-final first-leg victory over Napoli at Juventus Stadium.

      Behind early on to Jose Callejon’s close-range strike midway through a disappointing opening period, the Serie A leaders roared back after the interval in style, overwhelming their thereto impressive visitors with three goals in the space of 22 minutes.

      Within an instant of the restart, Dybala won his first spot-kick of the night and duly converted it. Suddenly Juve were reinvigorated. With the away defence creaking, it was only a matter of time before the hosts struck again. 

      Right on cue, two critical errors from away keeper Pepe Reina swung proceedings decisively in the hosts’ favour. On 65 minutes, the Spaniard left his goal unguarded for Higuain to sidefoot in on the volley after flapping at Pjanic’s corner before illegally halting an electrifying Juan Cuadrado sprint from deep when clean through.

      Dybala, once again, was flawless from 11 metres out. Advantage Juve ahead of the second leg at the San Paolo.

      Semi-final 2nd leg: Napoli vs Juve

      Two clinical finishes from Higuain in either half sent Juventus to a third consecutive Coppa Italia final at the expense of Napoli on a frantic night at the Stadio San Paolo.

      Pipita looked to have twice killed off any hope of an Azzurri comeback to put Juve first 4-1 and then 5-2 up on aggregate either side of a Marek Hamsik equaliser only for Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne to reduce the aggregate deficit in a breathless opening to the second period.

      Once 3-2 ahead on the night, Napoli failed to craft any further opportunities as Juve stood firm to book their place for the final against Lazio in Rome.

      Final: Juventus vs Lazio

      Juventus wrote yet another chapter of Italian football history at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday night as goals from Dani Alves and Leonardo Bonucci saw them cruise past Lazio to seal a third consecutive Coppa Italia crown, their 12th overall.

      A breathless opening to the game may well have produced a very different outcome with both Juventus and Lazio spurning good chances to seize an early advantage; Higuain’s stinging volley from range was pushed away by goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha and Baldé Keita was unfortunate to be denied by the near post after he had slipped away from Bonucci.

      From then on, this was a one-team Coppa Italia final and the Bianconeri stormed into the lead when Dani Alves volleyed home Alex Sandro’s pinpoint cross at the back post.

      By the 25th minute, Juve had one hand on the trophy when Bonucci steered another Alex Sandro ball into the far corner past a helpless Strakosha.

      The Bianconeri had Neto to thank for maintaining their 2-0 lead in the second period, the Brazilian’s excellent reflexes denying Ciro Immobile from point-blank range.

      Down the other end, Strakosha’s instictive save prevented Higuain from adding a late third, but it would do little to affect the direction of the Coppa Italia trophy heading back to Turin for the third year in a row.

      CUP FINAL PHOTOS
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