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Italian Cup: Juventus puts an end to three years of waiting and doubts

  • May 15, 2024
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Juventus Turin has resumed its good habits: three years after its last trophy, the most successful club in Italian football won the Italian Cup for the 15th time by beating Atalanta 1-0 in the final on Wednesday in Rome.

It’s not often that Juve go into a Coppa Italia final, or any other competition, with underdog status.

Falling on Sunday for the first time since August from the podium of the Italian Championship after a fifth consecutive draw, Massimiliano Allegri’s team was not favored by the forecasts against an Atalanta in full confidence after its qualification for the final of the Europa League.

But it only took four minutes for the Bianconeri to make their fans explode with joy, having been put to the test since the end of January.

While their team has only won two of its last fifteen league matches, it has ideally started the 22nd final in its history thanks to Dusan Vlahovic.

Perfectly launched by Andrea Cambiaso, the Serbian attacker took advantage of a marking error by the “Dea” defense to shoot Marco Carnesecchi (4th).

Italian Cup: Juventus Turin puts an end to three years of waiting and doubts

Isabella BONOTTO / AFP

With this advantage, Juve continued to press Atalanta, feverish as rarely this season, and dominated the midfield battle thanks to Adrien Rabiot.

Federico Gatti was close to doubling the score with a header in the 9th minute, then Cambiaso saw his shot graze the Bergamo crossbar in the 32nd minute.

Allegri beside himself and excluded

It was not until the 39th minute that Atalanta, deprived of its suspended scorer Gianluca Scamacca, finally showed itself dangerous, but Charles De Ketelaere, well placed in the Turin area, completely missed his shot.

Returning from the locker room, Atalanta, after four changes quickly made by Gian Piero Gasperini, showed a more conquering face.

Ademola Lookman narrowly missed the target in the 50th minute, then six minutes later, Teun Koopmeiners almost surprised Mattia Perin, preferred in the Juve goals to Wojciech Szczesny.

Juve, jostled, did not give up and even reacted on the counter thanks to the inevitable Vlahovic: in the 54th minute, he was thrown into the penalty area by Isak Hien, then in the 62nd, he slalomed into the surface of Atalanta, before being stopped by Carnesecchi.

The Serb even thought he had doubled the score in the 72nd minute, but his headed goal was ultimately invalidated by the VAR for offside.

In a disheveled end to the match, Lookman saw his shot find the Piedmont right upright (80th), while Fabio Miretti found the crossbar of the “Dea”.

Furious after an arbitration decision against his team was unjustified according to him, Allegri was sent off after throwing his jacket and tie in anger.

Juve saved its season, not sure that this is enough to save its coach’s head: he could be replaced at the end of the season by Thiago Motta, who led Bologna to the Champions League.

Atalanta will have to wait another week to try to add against Bayer Leverkusen a second trophy to its prize list which remains blocked an Italian Cup, won 61 years ago…