The Old Lady continued their dominance on the Italian peninsula on Wednesday night. Juventus defeated Lazio 2-1 in extra time to lift the Coppa Italia trophy.
The capital club started very brightly, taking the game to Juventus in the first few minutes and was rewarded for their efforts. Stefan Radu got his head onto a freekick and did very well to put it into the back of the net. Juve responded well though and got themselves back into the game. In the 11th minute, Patrice Evra headed the ball back across goal off a Pirlo freekick and Giorgio Chiellini scored on a scissor/bicycle kick (la rovesciata). After getting the early goal, Lazio seemed to drop off and sit back. Chiellini’s goal gave them a necessary wake up call. After an eventful start, the first half slowly died down. The second half was rather forgetful with neither team really creating much. Although Juve did have a goal by Alessandro Matri disallowed on a very tight offsides call in the 87th minute.
The match seemed to hit a bit of a lifeline in extra time. Both sides pushed, trying to find a winning goal and the match become more open. Lazio striker Filip Djordjevic hit a shot from about 25 yards that hit one post and rolled across the goaline and hit the other post! Then in the 97th minute, Matri layed the ball off for Tevez whose shot was blocked but Matri was right there to fire away a shot from 13 yards which slid past Berisha’s hands. The Bianconeri hung on for the remainder of Extra Time to be crowned Coppa Italia Champions!
Credit to Lazio who played well and fought hard but they need to move on quickly. They play Roma in the derby on Monday and Napoli the last week of the season, games which are vital for them to secure a Champions League spot. Stefano Pioli’s side has played very well this year and deserves to be rewarded.
Juventus have completed the domestic double and will look for the coveted Treble on June 6th against Barcelona. Massimiliano Allegri has become the first Juventus coach to win the double and reach the Champions League Final in the same season. He has done a tremendous job taking the reins from Antonio Conte. Allegri used the 3-5-2 formation tonight and while Juve seemed just a tad rusty at times with the formation change, I think using the 3-5-2 would be a great option to try and stifle Barca’s vaunted front three. After winning 4 straight Scudetti and now a Coppa Italia, Juventus will look to make history on June 6th.