The Bianconeri’s number 12 makes it a happy return for Antonio Conte to Juventus Stadium after sealing the club’s place in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals with a 1-0 win over Cagliari
The Bianconeri crowned Antonio Conte’s return to the Juventus Stadium dugout by booking their place in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals with a 1-0 win over Cagliari.
Conte’s presence on the touchline warmed the hearts of Juventus fans on a bitterly cold night in Turin, and his team claimed the victory they fully deserved when Giovinco capitalised on a moment’s hesitation in the Rossoblu rearguard to strike the winner with 57 minutes played.
As expected, Conte made wholesale changes for the Bianconeri’s debut in this year’s domestic cup competition. Marrone replaced Chiellini in defence, Isla and De Ceglie came in on the flanks to support a midfield trio of Vidal, Padoin and Pogba, while Bendtner partnered the returning Giovinco in attack.
Juventus created several chances to open the scoring in a lively opening period. With just seven minutes played, Giovinco found himself in a strong position to beat Avramov but failed to apply enough power to his goalbound attempt.
Bendtner was next to go close three minutes later, jinking past Perico before sending his right-footed effort wide of the target. The Dane was again at the centre of the action in the 20th minute, only for Avramov to thwart his low strike with a smart diving save.
Vidal, a late inclusion in the starting line-up at the expense of Giaccherini, saw his night come to a premature end after taking a knock on the halfway line, hobbling off to be replaced by Asamoah.
Joining the Chilean in the dressing room before the end of the first-half was Bendtner, who pulled up after showing plenty of bravery to win a challenge with Perico. Matri came on in place of the on-loan front man.
Despite producing a host of opportunities in a controlled second-half display, just one goal proved to be enough to see the the Bianconeri safely through to the next round, with Giovinco pouncing to sweep home from close range following some haphazard defending by the visitors.
Conte will have welcomed the opportunity to cast his eye over those who have seen less game time throughout a busy opening half of the season, and will now lead his side into a quarter-final tie against either Milan or Reggina.
JUVENTUS 1-0 CAGLIARI
GOALS: Giovinco 57
Buffon; Bonucci, Marrone, Barzagli; Isla, Vidal (Asamoah 16), Pogba, Padoin, De Ceglie; Giovinco, Bendtner (Matri 44).
Substitutes not used: Rubinho, Branescu, Chiellini, Caceres, Lichtsteiner, Pirlo, Giaccherini, Marchisio, Vucinic.
Avramov; Perico, Del Fabro, Rossettini, Murru; Eriksson, Ekdal (Dessena 46); Ibarbo, Ceppelini (Piredda 77), Thiago Ribeiro; Pinilla.
Substitutes not used: Agazzi, Russu, Camilleri, Casarini, Chelo.
ASSISTANTS: Viazzi, Liberti
FOURTH OFFICIAL: De Marco
BOOKINGS: Eriksson 17, Pinilla 34, Perico 82, Thiago Ribeiro 90