Serie A is still still a week away to resume, but the fans of Italian football were finally able enjoy some action after a three months gap, as the heavyweights Juventus and AC Milan went head to head in the Coppa Italia semi-final. While the match at Turin ended in a goalless draw, as Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to the pitch came with a dreary penalty miss, the Old lady still made it to the final via 1-1 aggregate on away goals.
Even though the second leg at a spectator less Allianz stadium ended dull, Juventus advanced to the final the 1-1 aggregate scoreline, having an away goal advantage from the first leg all the way back in February.
16 minutes into the game, the hosts earned a penalty after Milan’s Andrea Conti’s elbow was caught touching the ball in the penalty box. Although Ronaldo’s spot kick ended in hitting the woodwork, the Bianconeri talisman’s successful penalty strike from the first leg at San Siro was the decider of the semi final.
Ante Rebić, the Milan forward who also scored in the first leg on 13th February, was shown red just a minute after Ronaldo’s penalty miss. Following a clash with Juventus right back Danilo, the Croatian marched back to the dugout, as the Rossoneri played the rest of the match down to 10 men, with Zlatan Ibrahimović already missing the fixture due to injury.
“It was odd and difficult at the start, playing in an empty stadium after 90 days away,” Juventus centre back Leonardo Bonucci said in the post match interview.
“Even the greatest miss. Cristiano is always important for us,” the veteran Italian worded in on Ronaldo’s penalty miss.
“We’ve shaken off a dark moment for the whole world. I hope being back will offer the fans at home a bit of hope and joy. We want to give them something more on Wednesday,” the 33 year old vice captain hinted at a positive result in the Final at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on 17th June.
Juventus will face Napoli or Inter Milan in the final who are having their second leg at Stadio San Paolo today, with the hosts leading 1-0 in the aggregate.