Wednesday March 2 2016
Coppa: Juve penalties break Inter hearts

Inter beat Juventus 3-0 to level the first leg defeat, but went out on penalties, so the Bianconeri face Milan in the Coppa Italia Final.

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The Bianconeri had won the first leg 3-0 and also beat Inter 2-0 on Sunday in Serie A, so confidence was rock bottom in the host camp. Joao Miranda and Jeison Murillo were suspended with Stevan Jovetic injured, so Danilo D’Ambrosio had to adapt as a centre-back. Juve rested Mario Mandzukic, while Giorgio Chiellini, Claudio Marchisio and Martin Caceres were injured.

Ivan Perisic drilled wide and Adem Ljajic squirmed between three players, but was blocked off before he could get the shot away.

Inter took the lead when Norberto Neto’s poor pass to Hernanes saw Gary Medel harass him into losing possession in the final third, prodding through for Marcelo Brozovic to score from the edge of the box. Juve were angry, as Hernanes arguably shoulder-charged Hernanes off the ball.

Simone Zaza attempted an audacious overhead kick, but Juve made too many uncharacteristic errors and on a Daniele Rugani misplaced pass, Ljajic saw his curling shot bounce off the top of the bar.

Leonardo Bonucci received a yellow card for hauling back Eder in midfield and will therefore be suspended for the Final.

Ljajic drilled inches wide of the near post and flashed a dangerous free kick across the face of goal.

Geoffrey Kondogbia was visibly groggy after a collision with Stephan Lichtsteiner on the stroke of half-time and was replaced by Jonathan Biabiany.

The second half started in the ideal fashion for Inter, as Eder burst down the right and rolled across where Ivan Perisic just had to tap in at the back post. Suddenly it was 2-3 on aggregate with 40 minutes to go and Juventus began to look visibly worried.

Simone Zaza had Juve’s first genuine chance on 53 minutes, as he sprinted through the middle but went wide to go round the goalkeeper and his strike was deflected on to the upright of an open goal.

On the resulting corner Kwadwo Asamoah’s error sent Ljajic clear on the counter and his angled drive skimmed the far post.

Andrea Barzagli was introduced as Juve went to three at the back, but Inter poured forward and dominated possession in the remarkably loud atmosphere of the Stadio Meazza. D’Ambrosio nodded a free kick just over with Neto rooted to the spot and Medel’s strike was charged down, while Biabiany tested Neto from a tight angle.

Juve were pinned back and Rugani brought down Perisic as he dribbled into the box from the by-line, so the referee pointed to the spot. Brozovic converted as the ball squirmed under Neto’s elbow, making it 3-3 on aggregate.

With this extraordinary comeback, the tie would go to extra time, but it wasn’t over yet and Inter kept pushing for the victory. Perisic turned everyone inside out down the left flank and attempted an audacious right-foot curler that was just past the far top corner.

At the 90th minute Brozovic flicked on a cross from six yards, but Neto got down brilliantly to palm it round the base of the near post. There was also an ugly scuffle between Perisic and Cuadrado which saw both booked.

The tie was all level and went to extra time. Neto flew to palm a Perisic looping header out from under the bar, but Zaza almost scored an extraordinary goal when he robbed D’Ambrosio, anticipated Juan Jesus with a flick and the angled drive flashes inches past the far post. In the final seconds of extra time, Juan Pablo Carrizo performed a desperate save to stop Morata’s header crossing the line.

Zaza also hit the side-netting and Paul Pogba’s volley from a corner was not far wide of the far stick. Zaza was booked for a reckless challenge on D’Ambrosio and Eder hobbled off with cramp.

It went to penalties and Rodrigo Palacio’s effort hit the crossbar and bounced back out, so Bonucci converted the decisive kick.

Penalties: Barzagli (J, scored), Brozovic (I, scored), Zaza (J, scored), Palacio (I, bar), Morata (J, scored), Manaj (I, scored), Pogba (J, scored), Nagatomo (I, scored), Bonucci (J, scored)

Inter 3-0 Juventus (aet, 3-3 agg, 3-5 on pens)

Scorers: Brozovic 16, pen 82 (I), Perisic 49 (I)

Inter: Carrizo; Santon, D’Ambrosio, Juan Jesus, Nagatomo; Brozovic, Medel, Kondogbia (Biabiany 46); Perisic, Eder (Manaj 113), Ljajic (Palacio 74)

Juventus: Neto; Lichtsteiner (Barzagli 55), Rugani, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Cuadrado, Sturaro, Hernanes (Lemina 70), Asamoah (Pogba 85); Zaza, Morata

Ref: Gervasoni