Serie A champions, Juventus, is moving closer to securing the Coppa Italia title after scaling past AC Milan in the last four after playing to a goalless draw.
Juventus had in the first leg played at the San Siro Stadium secured an away goal in the 1-1 draw played against AC Milan. The Rossoneri also finished the game with a man down, but the Bianconerri couldn’t take advantage of the numerical disadvantage.
This was the first match played in Italy, marking the return of Italian football action in the country after 95 days absence of games due to the coronavirus pandemic. Italy being one of the most hit countries, stopped football action on March 9, and the government had to enact measures to combat the spread of the virus, which left over 30,000 dead in the country.
TRheTurin giant has therefore booked a place in the final in Rome. They are to play either Inter Milan or Napoli on June 17, three days before the resumption of Serie A. Napoli has a 1-0 advantage from the first leg of the other semifinal. The second leg holds today.
The match began brightly, and Juventus quickly got into the rhythm and began pressing AC Milan but ended up missing an early chance which fell to Cristiano Ronaldo. The Bianconerri got a spot-kick, but the Portuguese couldn’t convert it as his attempt went off the woodwork. Ante Rebic, who was scrambling for the ball, was sent off crashing into Juve defender Danilo with his boots up.
After losing the 16th spot-kick, Juventus continued to attack, and Blaise Matuidi and Ronaldo had their close-range shots saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma in the first half, as the host continued looking for the breakthrough, which didn’t eventually come.
With the absence of veteran forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic with a calf injury, Milan held Juve at bay, but couldn’t threaten to score a goal that would have taken them into the final.
Speaking after the game, Juventus defender, Leonardo Bonucci. said the emotions are strange with the absence of football action for over three months.
On his part, AC manager Stefano Poli, who reflected on the goal they conceded at home and Rebic’s red card, said it was a naive act of for ending up with a man less and his team had a great game with chances to go ahead.
He added that they played well against a very good opponent, as the results were two clear draws.
Getting hundred percent will take a while
Speaking with Rai, Juventus coach, Maurizio Sarri said he was surprised and satisfied with the opening 30 minutes of the game, but they couldn’t sustain the tempo, intensity, and mental determination. He noted that the positivity of the game was that Juve didn’t allow Milan to play at all.
On the resumption of action after the coronavirus hiatus, Sarri said it would take a while to get the fitness and mentality back to 100 percent due to the longer break teams had.