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Italy - Coppa Italia
March 20, 2012
• Juventus Stadium, Torino
Referee: D. Orsato
• Attendance: 41000
A. Del Piero 28'
M. Vučinić 96'
Juventus win Aggregate 4 - 3
D. Mesbah 51'
M. López 81'
I've been Tom Woods, and it's been a joy and a pleasure to bring this game to you. Thanks for all your contribution, and see you again here on Goal.com.
So Juventus are the first team through to the final, to be played at the Stadio Olimpico on 20 May. They will face either Siena or Napoli in that game.
What a brilliant match that was. Full of twists and turns, but for me, the better side over the two legs won through in the end. That goal from Vucinic was worthy of winning any tie, anywhere.
That's it! After a titanic two hours, Juventus have secured a 4-3 aggregate win over Milan, and progress to the Coppa Italia final in Rome!
Maxi Lopez tries a cross that is headed away by Bonucci. The crowd is hollering for the final whistle.
The 120 minutes are up. One minute to go...
Nope. Seemingly not. Thiago Silva instead gives the ball to Seedorf, who promptly passes the ball straight to a Juventus shirt. Is that the last chance for the Rossoneri?
Nocerino concedes a free kick on the half way line. Milan may want to lump this into the box...
There they go again. From the free kick, Djamel Mesbah chases Emaneuele Giaccherini into the corner, and then barges him over when he can't get the ball off him. Silly boy.
Vucinic and Pirlo start their own game over by the corner flag, before Milan eventually lose patience and bring Pirlo down on the corner of the area. Far more dangerous that a corner from here.
Corner for Juventus. They are in no rush to take this.
As it is, Milan are still right in this. Filippo Inzaghi is buzzing around the Juventus defence like a red and black fly, and is inches away from connecting with Maxi Lopez's clever flick. It only takes a second, as they say....
Yellow CardArturo Vidal
Vucinic finds Borriello on the edge of the area, but the forward slips as he makes contact and his shot is straight at Amelia. Chance to put the game out of sight there.
Yellow CardPhilippe Mexes
Two bookings here. Mexes is first in the book after a foul on the near touchline, and then Arturo Vidal is cautioned for a late lunge on Urby Emanuelson.
In front of him, Andrea Pirlo is the embodiment of calm in this most sense of scenarios. I don't think he has misplaced a pass yet. Not that that's anything new.
Chiellini has been superb at the back for Juventus, and watches a long ball from Muntari very closely to head away under pressure from Maxi Lopez. The Old Lady need just a few more minutes from him.
Maxi Lopez fouls Vidal about six times trying to win the ball on the edge of the area. Eventually, the referee picks him up on it and Juventus have a chance to clear their lines.
@sittinindapark - Milan still just need one to progress. We need another to finish this off c'mon Juve!
Antonio Conte throws his arms up to the crowd, goading them into a frenzied roar. We're under way in the second half. I can't wait...
That's the end of the first half. Juventus are minutes from the final, but then they were in this position in normal time too. One goal from Milan changes everything...
Milan just need one goal, but it won't come in this half. Storari has been a mere spectator in these first 15 minutes, and the defence in front of him has headed every speculative cross to safety.
It's keep ball from Juventus, spoiled by Borriello who is called for backing into Philippe Mexes. The vast majority of the stadium howls its anger at that decision.
Yellow CardThiago Silva
Thiago Silva is the latest Milan player to be booked, as the Brazilian defender follows through in a challenge with Vidal. Needless foul. Silly booking.
@akshaynr - This is the point AC Milan rename themselves 'Thugs Inc.'
Nobody deserves that goal more than Vucinic tonight. At times unplayable, the Montenegro forward has been man of the match by a country mile for me.
Juventus Stadium is jubilant. They know that their team are close to the final now. Milan haven't turned up for extra time yet. Only one team looks like scoring. GOOOAAALLL JUVENTUS! Stunning. Absolutely stunning. Mirko Vucinic picks up a pass from Andrea Pirlo, rolls the ball out from under his feet and - BANG. He unleashes a magnificent right foot drive that nestles perfectly in the top corner. You can't hit a ball sweeter than that.
@sujal075 Milan to score first in extra time for sure.. Super Pippo to unleassshhh...!
Martin Caceres tries his luck from the edge of the box, but his shot is deflected over the top. This is breathless stuff.
Another huge miss from Juve! Giaccherini is on to a lovely through ball from Vucinic but delays his shot and can't take the ball around Amelia. The home side have started this first period of extra time like a train.
Marchisio misses an open goal! Amelia can only knock Vucinic's strike back out into the area, and from an angle, Marchisio blazes the ball wildly over the bar. If he had kept a cool head, that looked a certain goal.
Here we go in extra time. Time for someone to step up and be a hero. What a game this has been - don't know about you but I don't want it to end.
90' + 4'
@Cool_Kid_Leslie If there's one player Juve should fear it's Pippo. Watch out.
90' + 4'
Which way do you see this one going? Keep the Tweets coming - @woodstome is the name.
90' + 4'
That's the final act of normal time. Juventus have lost over the 90 minutes, and tie is poised at 3-3 on aggregate. We will need extra time to find a winner. Don't go anywhere...
90' + 4'
Close! Vucinic takes the ball down on the edge of the area, and his rasping drive is only a foot over the bar.
90' + 3'
Vucinic looks the most likely candidate, and his shot is deflected behind for a corner. We are well over the three minutes of added time...
90' + 2'
Vidal tries to direct his header goalwards, but can't generate any power in it and Amelia can easily gather. Juve have rather run out of ideas in front of goal. Not good when you really need one.
On the 90-minute mark, Juventus bring on Martin Caceres, who scored both Juventus goals in the first leg, to replace Stephan Lichtsteiner. How the Old Lady would love a repeat performance from the Uruguayan.
It's all Milan in these closing stages, with Seedorf and Emanuelson taking turns to sending teasing balls in towards Lopez. Nothing doing so far, but the home side look incredibly nervy here.
Three minutes to go plus added time. Muntari attempts another long ranger that flies miles over the top. Has either side got a dramatic winner left in them to avoid extra time?
HUGE MISS FROM BORRIELLO! The substitute has an absolute age after going through on goal, but takes the ball far too close to Amelia and his shot is smothered. What a massive chance to win the tie for Juventus, and it goes up in smoke.
Yellow CardMarco Storari
@sujal075 Come on Milan.. Bury them.. One more..!!
That really was a stunning hit from Lopez. It's anyone's bet on who will make the final now. One thing is clear though - Juventus are currently heading for their first defeat of the season.
GOOOAAAALLL MILAN! Superb strike from Maxi Lopez! After taking the ball with his back to goal, the Argentine does superbly to roll the challenge, shift the ball onto his right foot, and power an unstoppable drive high into the net from the edge of the box. Milan have turned it around, and we are heading for extra time.
Yellow CardFilippo Inzaghi
Yellow CardMarco Borriello
Well, Juventus are certainly the draw specialists this season, and you feel that is the result they will be looking for now. Milan are pinging cross after cross into the box, but so far, the centre back pairing of Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci are dealing with things very well.
Stephan El Shaarawy
Luca Antonini almost scores a spectacular own goal there. Sliding to block a cross with nobody around him, he deflects the ball only a foot wide of Amelia's right hand post. That would have killed the game stone dead.
And here he comes. Inzaghi on to replace Stephan El Shaarawy. Milan need a winner in the very near future.
Filippo Inzaghi is stripping off his tracksuit...
Alessandro Del Piero
Alessandro Del Piero has certainly played his part tonight. His goal may have put Juventus into the Coppa Italia final, and with a quarter of the game to go, he is replaced by Marco Borriello.
Giorgio Chiellini is lying prone in the area after Maxi Lopez knocks him to the floor and then, off balance, treads on the defender's thigh. I'm 99% certain the striker did not mean that.
Mirko Vucinic is having one of his better games for the Bianconeri. The Montenegro forward simply glides past Luca Antonini there, and wins a corner when his cross is cut out.
Sulley Muntari hits a sweet strike from way out, but Storari gets everything behind it to save comfortably. It's poised on a knife edge here, you know.
Another change from Milan. Aquilani is brought off to be replaced by Antonio Nocerino. Allegri will be hoping his goalscoring midfielder can add to his tally tonight.
Half the crowd think the ball is in, but Vucinic's rising drive is blasted into the side netting. The next goal here could be absolutely vital.
It's opening up again. Chances at either end as Sulley Muntari is so close to connecting with a deep cross, before Alessandro Del Piero weaves his way into the box, with a diving Thiago Silva cutting out his pull-back.
There's the response from Antonio Conte. Simone Pepe comes off and is replaced by Claudio Marchisio. Packing the midfield, by the looks of it.
First effort on goal from Maxi Lopez, but he is off balance before striking the ball and can only send a daisy cutter through to Storari. Milan are the better side just at the moment, but will want to score again while they are on top.
...wasted. Seedorf rolls the ball to Thiago Silva, but the defence has time to charge down the Brazilian's shot. Why do people still take those short free-kicks? They never work.
Maxi Lopez has won a free-kick 30 yards out for Milan...
Yup, another foul by Milan. El Shaarawy slides in on Lichtsteiner and is lucky to get away without a booking. When will it end?
Yellow CardC. Seedorf
Another booking. This time, Clarence Seedorf steams into Vucinic after the ball was long gone. There is a look of resignation on the Juve striker's face. That must be the fifth time he has been chopped to the ground for no good reason at all.
That goal hasn't changed Milan's physical approach, however. Maxi Lopez's first act after coming on is to kick Arturo Vidal and leave the midfielder writing in pain. Surely their chances of turning this tie around will be lessened by going down to ten men?
That goal came after almost constant Juventus possession this half. I was about to say there was a black and white wall built on the edge of the box that Milan couldn't penetrate. Well, Milan's Algerian left-back has found a way through.
GOOALL MILAN! Where on earth did that come from?? Philippe Mexes launches a hopeful ball into the box and, of all people, Djamel Mesbah is arriving totally unmarked to place a bullet diving header into the top corner. 1-1 on the night, and game very much on.
@SiddarthGandhi expecting a goal from lopez now... Well someone needs to.
@johnserino What better way for Del Piero to end his Juventus career than win a trophy he made happen!
@easysoul1 will make history if Juve can play the season unbeaten...
We are underway in the second half. Milan need two goals without their leading scorer. No choice but to go for it hell for leather. Should be a belting 45 minutes.
See. Here comes Maxi Lopez, the Argentine forward taking to the field in place of, oddly enough Zlatan Ibrahimovic. There were rumours that the Swede was suffering from flu before the game tonight. Perhaps those symptoms have got the better of him.
If the Brazilian were fit, I expect he would have started. The away side do have two strikers on the bench in Filippo Inzaghi and Maxi Lopez. I'd be surprised if one or both are not introduced soon.
@SiddarthGandhi Milan should send in Pato now!
@fnaim_ this is not the Milan I know. What's with playing the long ball and not having a proper midfield?
For one, I will be amazed if Mesbah appears in that Barcelona tie. The Algerina has looked shaky again, and it's no coincidence that the Juventus goal came from the touchline he is supposed to be guarding.
@lomton I really don't know how Mesbah made it to Milan's XI but it will be a sad news to Italian football against Barcelona
Thanks for all your Tweets so far - keep them coming via @woodstome - you know I love to hear from you.
Will Antonio Conte's side finish the job in this second half, or can Milan turn it all around and steal a place in the Coppa Italia final? The second half will answer these questions, and then some.
That, my friends, is half time. Unfortunately, Daniele Orsato has to take his share of the limelight, and leaves the pitch surrounded by protesting players. Without question, Milan could have had two men sent off for some truly reckless tackling. However, Juventus have dealt well with this approach, and deservedly lead through Del Piero's strike.
I have no idea what Milan were doing there. Mesbah gets in an atrocious mix up in front of goal, presenting the ball to Vucinic near the byeline. His cross is flicked on and Del Piero is inches away from connecting with a diving header. Would have been 2-0 if he were that little bit taller.
First sight of goal from Pirlo there, and the midfielder drives a left foot shot straight at Amelia from 25 yards. I imagine he'd quite like a goal against his former employers tonight.
Corner for Juventus as Philippe Mexes stretches to cut out a long ball aimed at Giaccherini. Pirlo's corner is weak, however, and easily cleared into touch.
Milan are trying to make something happen in the final third, but can't get a ball in behind this Juventus defence. Particularly, the Bianconeri have been very good at keeping the two Milan forwards away from the ball. Save that Clarence Seedorf thunderbolt and one Ibrahimovic attempt, the away side haven't had much sight of Storari's goal yet.
Yellow CardMirko Vučinić
Vucinic is now booked for a high foot on Aquilani, when in fact the striker won the ball cleanly. Well might he wring his hands - that seems another odd refereeing decision.
Not sure why Milan saw fit to change their flowing play of the opening ten minutes, but it's Juventus playing all the football here. Milan determined to stop them by fair means or foul. Mostly the latter at the moment.
Yellow CardAlberto Aquilani
My goodness that is a bad tackle. Alberto Aquilani dives in recklessly on Vucinic over on the touchline. He is nowhere near the ball and takes his man out with studs clearly showing. Again, only a booking from referee Orsato. Vucinic is rightly furious at the assault that has just been committed on him.
True, Milan still need two goals, as they did at the start of the game, but the way that Juventus are playing will not be giving them much confidence of achieving that.
@tibrai well juve's goal doesnt change so much, milan still need two goals to make it a tie
No sign of a response from Milan yet. Clarence Seedorf attempts a 30-yard ball to nobody, and the ball runs out by the corner flag. Not exactly vintage from the Dutch maestro.
Almost another for Juventus there, as Vucinic cuts into the box but can only shoot straight at Amelia. The home side have their tails up and are looking to kill the tie off before their opponents wake up.
GoalAlessandro Del Piero
GOOOAAAALL JUVENTUS! It's that man Del Piero. The striker reacts quickest to Lichtsteiner's cross, and in one movement takes the ball away from Marco Amelia and stabs the ball home. The Old Lady have one foot in the final....
To that last Tweet, it does appear that Juventus are able to take everything Milan have to throw at them right now.
@lomton Can someone tell Allegri his physical approach isn't working.It will only make things worse for Milan.
@tibrai - Wondering if muntari has missed a yellow card since joining milan...
Hello! Almost a stunner from Clarence Seedorf, the Dutch no.10 sending a bending right foot shot inches wide of the top corner from 30 yards. What a return to the first team that would have been.
Mirko Vucinic shows some nice feet on the edge of the area, but attempts one trick too many and is stopped by a combination of Seedorf and Aquilani. Bit of a waste from a good position.
@jasontweetsnow - Juve stole a point in the last match...muntari goal makes it 2-0, then a different game.
Good save Storari! Ibrahimovic wins the ball after a mistake by Lichtsteiner, and sweeps a low drive towards goal that the Juve keeper does well to palm behind. Thiago Silva thumps a header over the bar from the corner. First real attempt on goal there. It won't be the last.
Pepe is on the sidelines receiving treatment after that challenge. Hopefully he will be fit to continue before too long.
Juventus enjoy a spell of possession, stroking the ball around midfield, before Simone Pepe is chopped down by Mesbah. It looked a tackle from behind there, and I'm surprised there is no card forthcoming. Things getting quite spicy here. You feel that will suit the home side though.
Yellow CardSulley Muntari
Ooooh dear. Sulley Muntari is far too late into a challenge with Stephan Lichtsteiner, and leaves the defender in a painful heap. The Ghanaian is booked, but it could easily have been red. Conte was not impressed with that challenge at all.
@monchiklins - Juve stole a point? What of Matri's goal? NEVER an offside..Milan were the lucky ones that day.
...straight into the wall from the big Swede
Here's a free-kick for Milan, right on the edge of the area, after Ibrahimovic is brought down by Chiellini....
Mesbah sends in a ball with a nice shape about it in behind the Juve back four, but there is nobody in the box to make the most of it.
Milan spend a fair amount of time on the ball, but Juve are happy to sit back for the moment. This isn't your regular Bianconeri performance under Antonio Conte, but they are comfortable enough for now.
Sulley Muntari attempts what can only be described as an ambitious bicycle kick inside the Juventus box. He falls flat on his back and makes no contact, sadly.
Much as I'd like to say I have a box seat in the stadium - no, I am in front of a screen much as you are...
@arg3tlam Do you get to see the matches live-stadium while you commentate, or are you also in front of the television like us mortals?
This is terrific, end-to-end game so far. The pace is electric, and both defences have been very alert to block a series of crosses that have been fired into each box. I'd take another 85 mins of this.
Arturo Vidal wants a penalty after falling over under a challenge from Thiago Silva. Nothing in that whatsoever.
A raking ball from Sulley Muntari nearly finds Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who had pulled away at the back post. The Rossoneri are going for this, that's perfectly clear.
Bold words from you fans at the outset. On the pitch, Milan have settled into a very nice early rhythm. Juventus haven't been out of their half yet.
@lomton - Milan to do the Impossible to win tonight. #Unbeatenstreak
@seyi_milan Very strong team, have nothing to lose
@pressthat: I want Milan to win because Juve stole a point last time in San SIro
Here come the teams. Black and white stripes for Juventus, Red and black for Milan. Referee Daniele Orsato gets us underway.
Incidentally Juventus and Milan fans, if you do have any other reasons why you really, really want to win this one, I am now taking all contributions over on Twitter at @woodstome. Just keep it clean if you please.
However, guess the one title Ibrahimovic has failed to win in Italy? That’s right, the Coppa Italia…
A word on Zlatan Ibrahimovic, if you’ll allow me. The Swedish forward, who scored his 20th goal of the season in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Parma, has won the domestic league championship in each of his last five seasons. Clinch the Scudetto with Milan, and it will be six straight league titles for the big guy. This is a player who divides opinion, but those are the sort of facts that stand the test of time.
Quick observation on that Milan lineup. Big game in prospect for the Algerian Djamel Mesbah. The former Lecce player had an absolute nightmare against Arsenal in the Champions League, and this three-pronged Juve attack will be looking to test his confidence early on, I’d wager.
For Milan, Philippe Mexes is back from suspension to start at centre-back, while Clarence Seedorf returns to the midfield in place of the injured Mark Van Bommel. Full lineup (4-3-1-2): Amelia; Antonini, Mexes, Thiago Silva, Mesbah; Aquilani, Muntari, Seedorf; Emanuelson; Ibrahimovic, El Shaarawy. Bench: Abbiati, Bonera, Yepes, Gattuso, Nocerino, Maxi Lopez, Inzaghi
What about the teams, I hear you ask? Well for Juventus, Antonio Conte has entrusted 37-year old talisman Alessandro Del Piero to lead the attack tonight. There are four further changes from the side that romped to a 5-0 win at Fiorentina at the weekend, with Marco Storari replacing Gianluigi Buffon in goal and Giorgio Chiellini returning in defence. Full lineup (4-3-3): Storari; Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Chiellini, De Ceglie; Vidal, Giaccherini , Pirlo; Pepe, Del Piero, Vucinic. Bench: Manninger, Caceres, Estigarribia, Marchisio, Padoin, Quagliarella, Borriello
Milan, however, will be tough opposition to shift. Massimiliano Allegri’s side hold a four-point advantage at the top of the league, and since that first-leg defeat have gone on a pretty terrifying run, winning six out of eight games in all competitions and keeping four clean sheets in the process. They will need to become the first side to beat Juventus this season in order to progress, but few are better placed to achieve such a feat.
However, you can see his point. Leading 2-1 from the first-leg at San Siro six weeks ago, a place in the final, and possibly a first cup triumph since 1995, is very much within sight for the Old Lady.
Well, just to stoke the fires that little more fiercely, Juventus coach Antonio Conte has labelled this the biggest game of his side’s season. Keeping things nice and calm then.
It may be that the two sides, Juventus and Milan, are currently going head to head in one of the tightest Serie A title races in ages. It may be that, last time they met, Sulley Muntari had a vital goal disallowed despite the ball clearly crossing the line. It could be the numerous insults that have been exchanged for the majority of this season, involving referees, transfers, and the conduct of each other’s players. But other than that, what’s to be wound up about?
Welcome to Goal.com, and to Juventus Stadium, for this Coppa Italia semi-final second-leg. There are those that would say that tonight’s opponents aren’t too fond of each other just at the moment. Can’t think where they get such ideas.
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