Juventus 0-0 Inter (2-1 agg): Bianconeri back in Coppa Italia final

Juventus progressed to the Coppa Italia final as they kept Inter at bay to secure a goalless draw in the semi-final second leg and a 2-1 aggregate victory.

A mistake-ridden Inter performance had given Juve the advantage in the tie and crucial away goals in the first leg.

The Nerazzurri consequently spent much of the return leg in Turin attacking in search of the goals that would turn the tie on its head.

Impressive work by Juve’s rearguard ensured they never arrived and only the reflexes of Samir Handanovic stopped Cristiano Ronaldo from sending the Bianconeri into a final with Atalanta or Napoli in more convincing fashion.

Achraf Hakimi was a constant threat down the right in the opening 45 minutes, and the game’s first clear-cut chance came in the 25th minute after he was hacked down on the edge of the area by Alex Sandro.

Romelu Lukaku could not get telling contact on Christian Eriksen’s free-kick but Inter’s pressing continued to cause Juve problems, with the Bianconeri throwing their bodies in the way to prevent Gianluigi Buffon from being tested.

It wasn’t until the 42nd minute that either goalkeeper was forced into a meaningful save, Handanovic using his legs to stop Ronaldo from squeaking an effort inside his near post.

Ronaldo was profligate in blazing high and wide just before the hour following a counter from Adrien Rabiot and Handanovic then prevented him from converting Weston McKennie’s excellently placed pass with a close-range save.

The Portugal star was left looking to the heavens in disbelief after he weaved past two Inter defenders and into the area, only to see Handanovic get down to his right and turn away a fierce drive.

Hakimi lashed into the side-netting from a tight angle with better options available in the middle, his team-mates’ reactions summing up a frustrating night for Inter.

What does it mean? Juve with chance to avenge 2020 agony

Beaten on penalties by Napoli in last year’s final, Juve’s victory gives them the opportunity to make amends for that defeat and potentially get revenge on Gennaro Gattuso’s men should they prevail against Atalanta.

Inter’s sole focus is now a crowded Serie A title race. They trail Milan by two points at the top and Juve are five points further back with a game in hand.

Ronaldo runs the show

Attempting seven shots, hitting the target with three and seeing another three blocked, Ronaldo was the most likely player from either team to score. He also played one key pass in a performance that deserved greater reward.

Unlucky seven for Inter

While no one individual poor performance stood out for Inter, they will rue their inability to take advantage of their first-half superiority. Antonio Conte’s club have failed to score in each of their past seven away games at Juventus in all competitions.

What’s next?

Juve visit Napoli in a tricky Serie A fixture on Saturday. Inter welcome Lazio to San Siro a day later.

Source of the article

Author: XenBet

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