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Juventus v Lazio Live Commentary, 18/05/17

2 - 0
Dani Alves (12)
L. Bonucci (24)
Stadio Olimpico


There it is! Juventus have won their third consecutive Coppa Italia, becoming the first club ever to do so. They certainly deserve to get their hands on the cup once again, as they were easily the better of the two teams from start to finish. With the league title as good as wrapped up, they'll now be aiming to complete what would be an historic treble with a victory over Real Madrid in the Champions League next month.
90' + 3' Mandzukic flies into Felipe Anderson and catches the Brazilian from behind, resulting in a free-kick for Lazio deep down the right flank. He takes it quickly but can only poke the ball back to the Croatian, who is then fouled from behind by a clearly frustrated Felipe Anderson. That should be that for Juventus.
90' + 1' Lazio push forward on a late attack through Lulic over on the left flank, but he's unable to get the better of Barzagli and loses out to the centre-back before cynically kicking out at him from behind.
90' The fourth official has indicated that there will be three minutes of added time.
88' Big save by Strakosha! Higuain is presented with an excellent opportunity to put the game to bed after being set up by a lovely pass from Dani Alves, but he can't beat Strakosha from close range and loses out to a great stop by the Albanian.
Dani Alves
Yellow Card
86' Dani Alves tangles with Lulic and goes down under a challenge from the Lazio wing-back. The Brazilian clearly isn't happy with the decision not to award him a free-kick and reacts angrily to the referee, who then shows him a late booking.
85' Lazio come back once again, and this time Immobile is presented with an opportunity to burst into the box. He can't manage to get a shot away, however, as Bonucci closes him down well and forces the striker into running the ball out for a goal-kick.
83' Felipe Anderson does really well to cut inside from the left wing and into the penalty area, but he can't pick out a team-mate and has to settle for a corner. The set-piece is well struck and only cleared as far as Basta, who then blasts an audacious effort well wide of the goal.
81' Alberto picks up the ball in a pocket of space midway inside the Juventus half of the pitch and quickly whips a cross into the middle of the box. It looks set to find Immobile, but Neto rushes out to deal with the danger with a diving punch.
79' What a chance for Immobile! A lovely cross into the heart of the Juventus penalty area finds Wallace, who rises high and nods the ball on well. It flies over to the far post and reaches Immobile, who manages to get a head on the ball but can't hit the target from a few yards out.
M. Lemina
P. Dybala
78' Juventus have made their first alteration of the evening, with Mario Lemina coming on to replace Dybala.
77' And now Immobile goes close! As Juventus begin to tire, Lazio are starting to find more joy in advanced areas. This time it's Immobile who gets a shot away on the edge of the box, but, once again, it's fired straight into the hands of Neto, who saves the effort well.
76' Massive opportunity for Keita! A lovely flick from Biglia on the edge of the Juventus penalty area sets up the Senegalese striker to shoot, but his rocket of a shot flies just a few yards over the top of the crossbar.
74' A swinging cross from Keita can only find Bonucci, who then clumsily nods the ball down to Alberto. The subtitute takes a quick touch and shoots, but his thumping strike is well saved by Neto in the middle of the goal.
73' Huge chance to make it 3-0! Higuain causes plenty of problems once again as he skips into the penalty area and towards the byline. He gets the better of Strakosha at the near post and then pokes a pass across the face of goal, but there's nobody there to meet it and Juventus are unable to further their lead.
71' Great play by Juventus! Dani Alves shines going forward once again as he easily gets the better of Lulic with a cheeky nutmeg. He then cuts inside and tees up Higuain, who shoots quickly but fires a deflected strike out for a corner.
70' It's all pretty comfortable for Juventus at the moment. Thanks to their two-goal lead, the Old Lady are sitting slightly deeper now as they allow Lazio to ssee much more of the ball. The Biancocelesti are struggling to do much with, however, as their opponents have remained incredibly well organised and resolute at the back.
Luis Alberto
S. de Vrij
69' Lazio have made their third and final change, with De Vrij making way for Luis Alberto.
67' Big chance for Basta! An attempted headed clearance by Alex Sandro can only find Basta, who's in a promising position just outside of the penalty area. He takes a quick touch and then shoots, but his effort is far too powerful and sails high over the top of the crossbar, much to the frustration of Simone Inzaghi.
65' Lulic twists and turns over on the left flank before finally managing to thump a cross into the middle of the Juventus box, but, once again, the league leaders have plenty of bodies back and are easily able to deal with the danger.
63' Vital interception by Wallace! Higuain is presented with another opportunity to break towards goal as he weaves his way up to the penalty area, but just as he's about to shoot, Wallace sticks out a foot to dispossess the Argentine.
62' After spending most of the second half so far on the back foot, Juventus are able to break forward down the left wing. Dybala gets himself into a good position just outside of the penalty area before poking a pass across the face of goal, but Higuain isn't quite on the same wavelength and can't meet the ball.
61' Immobile is bundled over from behind by Andrea Barzagli, resulting in a free-kick for Lazio in a promising position. It fails to result in a chance on goal, though, as it's overhit and easily dealt with by the Juventus defence.
59' Felipe Anderson and Basta link up well over on the right flank as Lazio push forward once again. This time it's the Serbian who curls a cross over to the far post, but it's slightly overhit and fails to find Immobile in front of goal.
57' Off the line by Neto! Felipe Anderson causes more problems over on the right wing as he swings a lovely cross into the middle of the penalty area. The ball sails over to the edge of the six-yard box and finds Immobile in an excellent position, but the striker's headed effort can't beat the outstretched limbs of Neto.
55' The first corner is quickly cleared behind a second, which is sent short to Keita. The move takes the Juventus defence by surprise and allows the forward to get a shot away from the edge of the penalty area, but it's slightly overhit and fails to hit the target.
54' Great strike by Felipe Anderson! The Brazilian immediately gets himself involved in the action as he cuts inside from the right wing and shoots, but his thumping low effort is tipped round the post by a great diving save from Neto.
Felipe Anderson
53' Lazio have made their second change of the game, and it's an attacking one, with Bastos making way for Felipe Anderson.
52' Juventus push forward once again after Lazio are unable to fully clear the danger. Marchisio does well in the middle of the pitch and then sets up Higuain in a promising position, but the Argentine's quickly taken strike is slightly wild and sails comfortably wide of the goal.
50' Dani Alves is bundled over midway inside the Lazio half of the pitch and wins Juventus a free-kick. It's sent short and worked forward quickly before Mandzukic tries to get a shot away from inside the box, but he loses his footing at the vital moment and can't test Strakosha.
48' Keita and Basta link up well over on the right flank before the Serbian takes on Alex Sandro. He does well to carve out a bit of space for himself and then swings a cross into the box, but it's poorly hit and sails straight into the hands of Neto.
46' We're underway once again!
The two teams are making their way back out on to the pitch ahead of the start of the second half. Neither side have made any substitutions during the half-time break.
Juventus already have one hand on the cup thanks to an excellent opening 45 minutes in which they were on top for the majority of the half. Lazio started well but struggled after their opponents finally woke up, and from then onwards the Serie A leaders were a force to be reckoned with. The Biancocelesti have really struggled to contain the Old Lady on the break, with both Alex Sandro and Dani Alves thoroughly enjoying themselves down both flanks.
45' + 2' Huge chance for Milinkovic-Savic! Lazio win themselves a corner, giving them one final opportunity to test Neto in the Juventus goal. A lovely cross is swung into the penalty area and finds Milinkovic-Savic in front of goal, but his bullet header is brilliantly stopped by Neto.
45' + 1' Ouch! Mandzukic and Bastos both jump high in the air as they battle for a long ball forward, but a heavy clash of heads sends the Croatian tumbling to the ground. He's quickly taken off the pitch to receive medical treatment to a nasty cut, but he should be able to continue.
45' The fourth official has indicated that there will be two minutes of added time.
44' Lazio come back once again, and this time it's Keita who involves himself in the thick of the action. He spins nicely 25 yards away from the Juventus goal and then pokes a clever through-ball towards Immobile, but the striker's run forward is slightly mistimed and the linesman's flag is quickly raised as a result.
42' Poor decision-making by Basta! Milinkovic-Savic pokes an excellent pass down the right flank and into the path of Basta, who is all alone inside the Juventus half of the pitch. The wing-back cuts inside and heads towards the box before trying to set up Immobile, but his low cross is poorly hit and fails to find the striker in front of goal.
40' Marchisio picks up the ball midway inside the Lazio half of the pitch and quickly chips a cross into the heart of the Lazio penalty area. It looks set to find Higuain, but Bastos is just about able to get a foot on the ball ahead of the Argentine.
38' Much better by Lazio! Keita showcases clever skills in the middle of the pitch as he links up well with Immobile. The striker charges towards the Juventus penalty area and then sets up Radu to his left, but the Romanian's low cross is well cut out by Bonucci.
36' A poor pass by Wallace fails to find Lucas Biglia, and once again Juventus are able to hit Lazio on a quick counter-attack. Dybala initially does well to get forward as he sprints towards the halfway line, but Milinkovic-Savic sends him tumbling to the ground with a cynical challenge from behind.
34' Alex Sandro is put under good pressure by Bastos deep down the left wing and can't get the better of the Angolan, but he does win his side a throw-in. It's taken quickly and momentarily catches out the Lazio defence, but a poor touch from Mandzukic denies Juventus the opportunity to take advantage of more sloppy defending.
32' Big chance for Immobile! Space opens up over on the right flank, allowing Milinkovic-Savic to fly forward. He gets himself into a great position and then curls a cross right on to the head of Immobile, who dives towards the ball but can't send his effort on target.
31' Excellent tackle by Stefan de Vrij! More good play between Higuain and Dybala sets up the latter to skip into the penalty area and towards goal, but just as he's about to get a shot away, De Vrij sticks out a foot and dispossesses the Argentine.
30' It's all too easy for Juventus, who are finding plenty of space every time they push forward. Once again, Alex Sandro is left all alone out wide and is able to swing a cross into the middle of the penalty area, but Mandzukic can't make decent contact with the ball and sends his header well wide of the goal.
28' Dybala and Higuain link up well on the edge of the Lazio penalty area as they continue putting plenty of pressure on their opponents. The latter gets past two players and then takes on Radu, but the substitute comes out on top at the vital moment with a well-timed interception.
26' It's all Juventus as they comfortably hold on to the ball inside the Lazio half of the pitch. The Biancocelesti look absolutely shellshocked at having conceded twice already, and they aren't pressing with the intensity that characterised their early play.
Alex Sandro
24' It was Alex Sandro who set up Bonucci, but, once again, the Lazio defenders didn't do anywhere near enough to close down the centre-back, who was easily able to skip through a sea of dark blue shirts before comfortably putting the ball into the back of the net.
L. Bonucci
24' GOAL! Juventus have doubled their lead! A swinging corner curls into the box and deflects into the path of Bonucci, who is left all alone by the sleeping Lazio defence and easily beats Strakosha with a close-range flick.
23' Lazio move the ball around nicely just outside of the Juventus penalty area before Basta eventually fires a low cross into the middle of the box, but it fails to find a team-mate and is easily dealt with by Dani Alves.
21' Ouch! Wallace flies into Dybala and catches the Argentine with a late challenge from behind. The Juventus players all scream for a yellow card, but the referee doesn't agree and instead just gives the Lazio defender a stern talking to.
Ş. Radu
M. Parolo
20' Lazio have already been forced into making a chance. Parolo, who was a doubt to start tonight, is replaced by Stefan Radu.
19' Two great saves by Strakosha! Keita gives the ball away on the edge of the Juventus box and allows the league leaders to counter incredibly quickly. Mandzukic and Dybala link up really well before the latter shoots, but his strike is well saved by a diving stop from Strakosha. The ball bounces out to Dani Alves, however, and the Brazilian quickly tees up Higuain, whose close-range flick is just about parried away by the Albanian goalkeeper once again.
17' The ball pinballs dangerously around the edge of the Juventus penalty area as Lazio push forward in search of a way back into the game, but Bonucci is just about able to thump the ball out of play before Ciro Immobile can latch on to it in front of goal.
15' Thumping strike by Dybala! Lazio look really rattled, and they present Juventus with another good opportunity to attack after giving the ball away. It's Dybala who twists and turns on his way towards the box before finally getting a shot away, but his excellent offer is well stopped by Strakosha.
14' Once again, Dani Alves causes problems for Lulic as the two battle for the ball deep down the right wing. He then cuts inside and tees up Paulo Dybala, who attempts to find Higuain but can't pick out the striker with his through-ball into the penalty area.
Alex Sandro
12' Alex Sandro did really well to pick out his fellow Brazilian with an excellent cross into the box, but Lulic really should have done better in dealing with Dani Alves, who he left all alone in front of goal after failing to track his run.
Dani Alves
12' GOAL! Juventus have taken the lead! Against the run of play, Alex Sandro breaks down the left wing before firing a looping cross over to the far post. Dani Alves charges towards goal after being left all alone by Lulic, allowing him to side-foot a lovely volley past Strakosha and into the back of the net via the inside of the post.
11' It's been a really good start to the game by Lazio, who are pressing Juventus high up the pitch. They're causing problems for the Biancocelesti in the middle of the field, and they've looked bright on the counter when presented with opportunities to break away.
9' Slightly sloppy play by Juventus allows Lazio to counter quickly once again, but this time Marco Parolo's cross into the middle of the box is just about cut out by a white and black shirt, denying Sergej Milinkovic-Savic the chance to latch on to the ball.
7' And then Gonzalo Higuain goes close to scoring! The Argentine is left in a pocket of space 25 yards away from goal, allowing him to unleash a thumping volleyed strike. It flies towards goal and is just about pushed away by Strakosha, who parries the ball towards Mario Mandzukic but is saved by an intervention from Basta.
6' Keita Balde hits the post! Dani Alves is dispossessed as he tries to cut inside from the right wing, and Lazio immediately hit their opponents on a blisteringly quick counter-attack. Keita charges down the left flank and into the penalty area before getting a shot away, but it smashes off the woodwork after getting the better of Neto at the near post.
4' Chance for Giorgio Chiellini! The centre-back powers deep into the Lazio half of the pitch and shoots after getting himself into a good position 30 yards out, but his low effort is sent straight at Strakosha and is easily saved by the Albanian.
3' Vital interception by Lulic! Claudio Marchisio picks up the ball on the halfway line for the first time and immediately launches a lofted pass into the Lazio penalty area. Dani Alves makes a great run forward and almost manages to reach the ball, but he can't get the better of Lulic, who nods it back to Thomas Strakosha.
2' Leonardo Bonucci is quickly put under pressure deep down the left wing and concedes a throw-in in a dangerous position. It's sent short by Senad Lulic and over to Dusan Basta, who tries to swing a low cross into the box but can't pick out a team-mate.
1' We're off! Lazio get us underway, attacking from right to left.
The two sides are making their way out onto the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off.
Meanwhile, Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi has made seven alterations to the team that featured in their last outing, with Wesley Hoedt, Stefan Radu, Patric, Alessandro Murgia, Luis Alberto, Jordan Lukaku and Filip Djordjevic making way for Stefan de Vrij, Wallace, Dusan Basta, Lucas Biglia, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Senad Lulic and Ciro Immobile.
Massimiliano Allegri has decided to make eight changes to the Juventus side that started the defeat against Roma on the weekend, with Neto, Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini, Alex Sandro, Tomas Rincon, Claudio Marchisio, Dani Alves and Paulo Dybala coming into a heavily altered line-up to replace Gianluigi Buffon, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Medhi Benatia, Kwadwo Asamoah, Mario Lemina, Miralem Pjanic, Stefano Sturaro and Juan Cuadrado, respectively.
Lazio substitutes: Hoedt, Patric, Djordjevic, Felipe Anderson, Crecco, Alberto, Lombardi, Radu, Adamonis, Vargic, Tounkara, Murgia.
Lazio XI (3-5-2): Strakosha; Bastos, De Vrij, Wallace; Basta, Parolo, Biglia, Milinkovic-Savic, Lulic; Immobile, Keita.
Juventus substitutes: Buffon, Benatia, Cuadrado, Mattiello, Lemina, Asamoah, Lichtsteiner, Sturaro, Kean, Audero, Leris.
Juventus XI (4-2-3-1): Neto; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Rincon, Marchisio; Dani Alves, Dybala, Mandzukic; Higuain.
There’s just over 15 minutes left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up this evening…
Despite recent meetings between the two sides largely proving to be close and narrow affairs, Juventus boast an exceptional record against the Aquile across all competitions. They’ve won all of the last nine games involving the two, with Lazio’s last victory coming in their Coppa Italia winning season back in January 2013.
Lazio, meanwhile, enjoyed two solid performances against Roma on this very ground, where they won 2-0 before going on to lose 3-2 a month later. Their run to the final also saw them see off both Genoa and Inter, but they’ll be well aware that Juventus were the last side to knock them out of the competition when the two teams met in the quarter-finals last season.
Both sides have had to work hard to reach this point of the competition, with clashes against the current second and third-place sides facing them in the semi-finals. Juventus managed to beat Napoli 3-1 at home in the first leg before losing 3-2 at the Stadio San Paolo, where an in-form Napoli side gave them a real scare in a hard-fought and close encounter.
As for Lazio, they’ll be looking to win the Coppa Italia for the first time since 2013, when they saw off fierce rivals Roma in a nervy and exciting encounter. It would certainly be a well-deserved achievement for the Biancocelesti, who, under first-time boss Simone Inzaghi, have enjoyed a wonderful season in which they’ve managed to qualify for Europe for only the second time in four years.
With the Serie A title all but wrapped up and a Champions League final against Real Madrid fast approaching, tonight’s big clash represents Juventus’ first step towards a potential treble. Victory over Lazio would also make the Old Lady the first team to win the Coppa Italia three seasons in a row, and it would see them lift the cup for a record 12th time in their history.
Good evening and welcome to our live text commentary of today’s Coppa Italia final between Juventus and Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico.