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Coppa Italia: Late Ronaldo Penalty Give Juve the Edge

AC Milan 1-1 Juventus

It’s advantage Juventus in this Coppa Italia semi-final after an injury-time penalty gave them a draw, and a crucial away goal to take back to Turin.

Try to pick up the Coppa Italia 2020 highlights if you get the chance because there was plenty of drama in this one.

While Juve saw much of the ball Milan had more chances, they also put the boot in to earn four yellow cards and a crucial red. Before Theo Hernandez was dismissed, it looked like Milan would see out a win thanks to Ante Rebic’s opener.

But the Old Lady took advantage!

In the other semi-final, Napoli has taken the initiative thanks to a Fabian Ruiz strike which gave them a valuable away goal in a 0-1 victory over Inter Milan.

 

Highlights of the game

The chance to see Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo on the same field doesn’t come around that often, and Milan’s man wasn’t in the mood to disappoint. In fact, Ibrahimovic had the opening attempt in the very first minute when he headed a cross from Rebic wide.

And as Milan continued to press Rebic brought a smart save from Gigi Buffon with just five minutes on the clock, and then Hakan Calhanoglu had his effort charged down. Our SBOTOP tips went for I Rossoneri to get a result tonight and the way they started that looked well and truly on.

Midway through the first half, Davide Calabria collected a pass from Franck Kessie and took aim from just outside the penalty area, forcing Buffon to tip over for a corner.

Theo Hernandez missed his chance from the set-piece, but Buffon was called into action again when Ibrahimovic fed Rebic who fired straight at the Juve keeper.

Ibra was all over the place, belying his 38 years and he picked up a yellow card for a late challenge on Matthijs de Ligt.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and AC Milan failed to secure the 1-0 Coppa Italia win at home against Juventus
                                               AC Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic controls the ball during their Coppa Italia clash against Juventus

Juve eventually came out on attack and wide man Juan Cuadrado unleashed a shot from distance but Gianluigi Donnarumma saved. And just before the break, Ronaldo had his first effort charged down.

Milan started the second half as they had the first, Ibrahimovic played in Rebic and Buffon saved again, then Ibra fired one just wide after good work from Ismail Bennacer.

The big Swede was involved again passing to Samu Castillejo and the midfield man’s shot fizzed narrowly wide.

I Rossoneri continued to press and Hernandez forced a good save from Buffon with a shot arrowing towards the bottom right corner and then, finally, the pressure paid off on 61 minutes, when Rebic found the time and space in the middle of the penalty area to fire home the opener.

Juve were given a lifeline with 20 minutes to go when Milan went down to ten men. Hernandez, who had been booked for a bad foul on Paulo Dybala late in the first half, flew in on Dybala again with the same result: a second yellow.

As Juve pressed for an equaliser, De Ligt forced a great save from Donnarumma when he headed a Dybala cross towards the bottom corner, and then Ronaldo had a shot blocked before Dybala fired his effort wide.

With time running out Ronaldo fired wide from close range but after a long VAR deliberation Davide Calabria was adjudged to have handled and the referee pointed to the penalty spot.

It was Ronaldo’s moment, of course, and he stepped up to smash the spot kick high into the centre of the goal.

 

Key statistics

In a goalless first half, Juventus had the lion’s share of possession but Milan won the shot count by nine to three and three to one on target.

Our Milan vs Juventus predictions were nicely justified too in the second half as I Rossoneri ended up with 19 shots to 13, and nine to four on target.

But I Bianconeri took advantage when they had numerical advantage and stretched their unbeaten run against Milan to ten games, but the hosts ended a losing run of six against these opponents.

 

What’s next?

 

The second leg of this tie is on the 4th of March and we’ll be right there with all the action.

But before that Juventus have domestic and European dates to look forward to.

I Bianconeri is at home to Brescia next in Serie A, then visit SPAL before a Champions League Round of 16 tie against Lyon.

In Serie A terms, Milan will be keen to recover quickly from the derby defeat they suffered at the hands of Inter last week, losing 4-2 after leading 2-0. The Rossoneri have a home game against Torino next Monday.

 

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