NEWS
Friday June 12 2020
Coppa: Juve eliminate 10-man Milan

Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty and Ante Rebic was sent off after 17 minutes, as Juventus dominated possession and reached the Coppa Italia Final on away goals.

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The first leg of this semi-final ended 1-1 at San Siro on February 13, but the coronavirus pandemic saw football locked down for three months and this was the first Italian match played since early March. There was a minute’s silence before kick-off for COVID-19 victims, followed by applause for healthcare workers, with three representatives in the centre-circle.

Juve were without Gonzalo Higuain, Giorgio Chiellini, Aaron Ramsey and Merih Demiral, but Maurizio Sarri used Douglas Costa, Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala together for the first time from the start. Despite transfer links, Miralem Pjanic was still used in midfield. The Rossoneri had Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Theo Hernandez and Samu Castillejo suspended, so used Ante Rebic as the sole striker supported by Lucas Paqueta, Giacomo Bonaventura and Hakan Calhanoglu.

The Bianconeri absolutely dominated from the first minute, within 70 seconds Douglas Costa drilling just wide after Alex Sandro had skipped past Paqueta.

Juve were awarded a penalty when Andrea Conti jutted out an elbow to deflect the ball on to Ronaldo from a corner, spotted via VAR. CR7 stepped up, just as he had in the first leg, but this time his spot-kick was fingertipped on to the base of the upright by Gianluigi Donnarumma.

The move continued and within seconds Rebic had gone into a totally unnecessary karate kick on Danilo’s chest and was shown a straight red card.

Gianluigi Donnarumma parried a Blaise Matuidi volley from close range and smothered the Ronaldo curler, but for all the possession, Juve failed to break down 10-man Milan.

The Rossoneri also had a penalty appeal, but Simon Kjaer was offside before Leonardo Bonucci’s push. Calhanoglu’s diving header on a Bonaventura cross was wide from 10 yards after a rare counter-attack, but it was Jack who made way for striker Rafael Leao.

Alessio Romagnoli needed a perfectly-timed sliding tackle as last man on Ronaldo, while Simon Kjaer’s glancing header took Dybala’s cross off the head of Matthijs de Ligt. Kjaer should’ve done better at the other end, when nodding Milan’s first corner of the game wide after 78 minutes.

Donnarumma had his gloves stung by Dybala and Alex Sandro strikes, but ultimately Juve were content to go through on away goals thanks to that first leg 1-1 result. They will face either Napoli or Inter at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on June 17, again behind closed doors.

Juventus 0-0 Milan (1-1 agg)

Juventus: Buffon; Danilo (Cuadrado 85), De Ligt, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic (Rabiot 62), Matuidi (Khedira 62); Douglas Costa (Bernardeschi 62), Dybala, Ronaldo

Milan: G Donnarumma: Conti (Saelemaekers 87), Kjaer, Romagnoli, Calabria (Laxalt 87); Kessie (Colombo 82), Bennacer; Paqueta (Krunic 82), Calhanoglu, Bonaventura (Leao 52); Rebic

Ref: Orsato

VAR: Aureliano

Missed pen: Ronaldo 16 (J)

Sent off: Rebic 17 (M)