Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Substitute Alvaro Morata scored in extra time as Juventus beat AC Milan 1-0 to win the Italian Cup on Saturday.

By AP NEWS
May 21, 2016

ROME (AP) — Showing off his ability to shine in the most important matches, substitute Alvaro Morata scored in extra time as Juventus beat AC Milan 1-0 to win the Italian Cup on Saturday.

The Turin power became the first club to win the league and cup double in consecutive seasons.

In the 110th minute at the Stadio Olimpico, Morata required one touch to redirect a cross from Juan Cuadrado past Milan's 17-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

The loss means Milan will miss out on Europe for a third consecutive season. The Rossoneri had to win the final to qualify for the Europa League following a seventh-place finish in Serie A.

​Juventus, meanwhile, earned its third trophy of the season, having opened the campaign by beating Lazio in the Italian Super Cup then rebounding from a difficult start to comfortably secure a fifth straight Serie A title.

Planet Futbol
Manchester United lifts FA Cup as Louis Van Gaal faces a likely exit

The goal came two minutes after Morata came on for Hernanes, and on the forward's third touch.

"My friends asked me yesterday if was playing and I told them no. So they said, 'Well, you'll come on and score a goal,'" Morata said. "I wish every final would be like this."

While Morata was largely relegated to a bench role this season behind Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic, it's not the first time he's scored a big goal for Juventus.

In last season's Champions League semifinals, Morata scored in both the first and second legs against Real Madrid, plus a temporary equalizer in a 3-1 loss to Barcelona in the final.

It might have been Morata's last match for Juventus, amid reports that he could return to Madrid.

"Now I've got to prepare for the European Championship," Morata said when asked about his future. "Today I can't think about that (transfer)."

It's Juve's 11th Italian Cup title. Milan, which has five titles, hasn't won the cup since 2003 — and no trophies at all in nearly five years, since the 2011 Italian Super Cup.

Cuadrado came on in the second half, and with Morata's entrance Juventus concluded with four forwards on.

"I had to decide whether to go for it or settle for penalties and I went for it," Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri said. "It worked out."

Milan controlled for almost the entire first half, attempting 10 shots to Juve's one in the opening 45 minutes. After that, it was an even match until Morata's late strike.

"We probably deserved it more considering how we played but we lacked the knockout punch," Milan midfielder Riccardo Montolivo said. "If we had played all season the way we did tonight it probably would have been a different type of season."

In the final segment of added time, Milan substitute Jose Mauri sent a potential equalizer just wide.

Minutes later, Italy President Sergio Mattarella presented the trophy to Juve's Giorgio Chiellini, who was captain for the night since Gianluigi Buffon did not play.

Struggling Milan forward Mario Balotelli played only the final eight minutes.

It was likely the last match for Milan interim coach Cristian Brocchi, who produced just two wins in six Serie A games after replacing the fired Sinisa Mihajlovic.

"It hurts," Brocchi said. "The guys did everything I asked them to and the only thing we lacked was a goal."

Brocchi hopes to continue with Milan next season.

"Of course that's what's in my heart," Brocchi said. "I'm partly responsible for the way we played tonight."