Wednesday January 3 2018
Coppa: Juve beat Toro amid controversy

Juventus beat Torino 2-0 with Douglas Costa and a very controversial Mario Mandzukic goal to set up a Coppa Italia Semi-Final with Atalanta.

The other showdown for the Final will be between Milan and Lazio on January 31 and February 28.

Both sides had numerous injury problems, as Gigi Buffon, Mattia De Sciglio, Benedikt Howedes and Juan Cuadrado missed out for the hosts, who used Mario Mandzukic as a centre-forward. Toro had to do without Andrea Belotti, Adem Ljajic, Cristian Ansaldi, Lyanco, Antonio Barreca and Simone Edera.

They met in the Coppa Italia in December 2015, Juventus winning 4-0 after Cristian Molinaro’s red card.

Max Allegri’s men had a very aggressive start, Miralem Pjanic on his comeback from injury blasting straight at Vanja Milinkovic-Savic, but for all the pressure, Alex Berenguer failed to make the most of a Stefano Sturaro slip, firing off target.

Juventus did make their chance count, as the ball ricocheted into the path of Douglas Costa just inside the area and he unleashed a ferocious half-volley into the far top corner.

Moments later, Paulo Dybala fired over on the counter, but then M’Baye Niang almost equalised with his angled drive thumping the far post.

Douglas Costa did well to keep the ball in control at the by-line and knock it back for Dybala’s first time shot, denied by a desperate Milinkovic-Savic save.

Douglas Costa had the ball in the back of the net, but was clearly offside, while Dybala cut inside for a deflected curler and on the corner nobody was able to get the final touch.

After the restart, it really should’ve been 2-0, but Mandzukic somehow failed to make contact on a Douglas Costa assist rolled across the six-yard box.

Dybala then pulled back to a similar position and Blaise Matuidi saw his tap-in deflected inches wide by Milinkovic-Savic.

The second goal came amid controversial circumstances, as Torino stopped playing when they felt Afriyie Acquah was fouled by Sami Khedira, but Dybala threaded through for Mandzukic to dink it over Milinkovic-Savic. The referee viewed it again via VAR and awarded the goal, much to the fury of Sinisa Mihajlovic.

That incident cranked up the crunching tackles, but also inevitably killed off the game.

Juventus 2-0 Torino

Douglas Costa 15 (J), Mandzukic 69 (J)

Juventus: Szczesny; Sturaro (Lichtsteiner 46), Rugani, Chiellini, Asamoah; Marchisio (Khedira 59), Pjanic, Matuidi; Dybala, Douglas Costa; Mandzukic (Higuain 77)

Torino: Milinkovic-Savic; De Silvestri, N’Koulou, Burdisso, Molinaro; Rincon, Acquah (Obi 81), Baselli (Boye 81); Iago Falque, Niang (De Luca 81), Berenguer

Ref: Doveri


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