TIM Cup Semi-final 1st leg: Match preview
The Bianconeri overcame cross-town rivals Torino in a quarter-final Derby della Mole, in what was a comfortable performance for La Vecchia Signora. Brazilian winger, Douglas Costa gave Juve the lead in the 16th minute after Paulo Dybala’s strike at goal was only half cleared away by the Torino defence, and Costa was first to pounce as he lashed home a first-time strike to fire Juve in front.
The Granata almost replied instantly, as a long kick up-field by goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic found M’baye Niang racing in on goal and his shot hit the far post and stayed out. However, that was the closest that the visitors would come to troubling the Bianconeri, as Juve made the result safe in the second half. An attempted pass ricocheted into the path of Mario Mandzukic who was left one-on-one with the goalkeeper, and the Croatian kept his composure to chip over Milinkovic-Savic and into the back of the net to win the game 2-0 for Juve.
ATALANTA CONTINUE TO IMPRESS
Having remarkably finished fourth in the league last season to qualify for Europe, Atalanta continue to keep turning in great performances against the odds. La Dea have reached the semi-finals of the TIM Cup after overcoming Napoli in the San Paolo in the previous round.
Following a goalless first-half in Naples, Gian Piero Gasperini’s men went ahead in the 50th minute through Belgian defender Timothy Castagne, who was able to follow up on an initial blocked shot at goal. Atalanta doubled their lead through talisman, Papu Gomez in the final 10 minutes as the Argentine scored an excellent solo goal. Despite Napoli scoring a response late on from Dries Mertens, Atalanta were able to hold on to book their place in the semi-finals against Juve.
JUVE OUT TO REVERSE ATLETI AZZURRI FORTUNES
Interestingly the Bianconeri have never won away at Atalanta in the TIM Cup, with their record currently standing at five draws and three defeats. Likewise La Dea have also yet to taste victory in Turin after four Juve wins and one draw. The last time the two teams met in Bergamo was in the 2004/05 season, with Atalanta coming out on top 2-0 after two goals from Andrea Lazzari.
After Tuesday night's game at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia, the two sides will reconvene at the Allianz Stadium for the TIM Cup semi-final second leg on Wednesday 28 February.
#ATALANTAJUVE MATCH STATS
- Between the league and the cup Atalanta have not beaten Juventus in 22 matches, conceding 55 goals in total.
- The Bianconeri have scored at least two goals in their last eight against La Dea.
- Atalanta have scored in all of their last 13 TIM Cup matches, a club record.
- Juve have scored in 16 of their last 17 TIM Cup matches.
- No team has reached the TIM Cup final more times than Juventus (17).
- Douglas Costa has made eight successful dribbles, no player in the competition has done better since the Last 16.
- Rafael Toloi has intercepted nine balls so far, more than any other player in the knockout stages.
- Massimiliano Allegri has won 14 out of 17 TIM Cup matches with La Vecchia Signora.