Juventus remains on course to win a fourth straight Coppa Italia title after ousting Atalanta 2-0 on aggregate.

By 90Min
February 28, 2018

Juventus continued their quest for a fourth consecutive Coppa Italia title as they completed a 2-0 aggregate win over Atalanta in Turin on Wednesday night to secure their place in the final of the competition.

Leading 1-0 from the first leg, Juve withstood long spells of pressure from their visitors, who saw striker Alejandro Gomez rattle the woodwork from 35 yards with Gianluigi Buffon out of his goal, before Miralem Pjanic's penalty 15 minutes from time put the tie to bed.

Although Sunday's league fixture between these two postponed due to heavy snowfall, Juventus manager Max Allegri still rung the changes from the 1-0 over Torino the weekend before last.

Having limped out of the Torino win with an ankle injury, Gonzalo Higuain was replaced by Mario Mandzukic, while Buffon returned in goal in place of Wojciech Szczesny with Claudio Marchisio, Medhi Benatia, Stefan Lichtsteiner and Blaise Matuidi all also returning to the starting XI.

Having been in Europa League action against Borussia Dortmund on Thursday, Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini made just a single change from the side that drew 1-1 on the night to lose 4-3 on aggregate to the Germans, Gianluca Mancini replacing the suspended Rafael Toloi in defense.

Needing to overhaul that 1-0 deficit from the first leg, it was Atalanta who started on the front foot. Gomez went close early on, as he connected with Ilicic's fizzing cross into the center of the area, but the Argentinean's first time effort was straight at Buffon - who comfortably held onto the shot.

It took some time, but the hosts began to find their feet, and a spell of pressure from the Old Lady ended with Atalanta midfielder Leonardo Spinazzola nervously putting Kwadwo Asamoah's deflected cross over his own bar.

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With 10 minutes remaining in the first half, Mandzukic twisted and turned his way into the Atalanta area, but was denied by the onrushing Etrit Berisha, with the Atalanta keeper's midriff feeling the full force Mandzuckic's effort.

Berisha was forced into action again five minutes later, with the keeper diving low to bat away Douglas Costa's dipping effort as Juventus continued to press.

It was not however one way traffic, and Atalanta continued to apply pressure of their own, with Chiellini forced to act quickly to charge down Remo Freuler's shot after the Swiss received a pass from Ilicic inside the Juventus area.

It was Juventus who had the first chance of the second half, as the ball broke to Marchisio five minutes after the interval, but the Italian's powerful effort from a tight angle was beaten away by Berisha once again.

Mandzukic later saw an opportunity come and go, as the Croatian was unable to get the ball out of his feet with his back to goal on the edge of Atalanta's six yard box, having received a cut back from the rampaging Asamoah on the left hand side.

Atalanta then went within inches of punishing Juventus for their wastefulness in front of goal. As Buffon found himself in no-man's land having come for a ball that never looked close to reaching him, Gomez pounced to lift the ball over the keeper, who could only watch and breathe a sigh of relief as the effort bounced back off his goalpost.

Moments later it was Juve's turn to hit the woodwork in a frantic spell of play, as Douglas Costa's curling effort from the right hand side of the visitors penalty cannoned of the crossbar.

With little over a quarter of an hour remaining, Juventus were handed the chance to put the tie to bed, as Atalanta defender Mancini was penalized for a push on Matuidi as the Frenchman stretched to reach Lichtsteiner's pinpoint cross into the area. Pjanic drilled the resultant penalty straight into the center of the net to give Juve a 1-0 lead on the night and a 2-0 lead on aggregate.

That goal for Juventus took much of the fight out if Atalanta, and although the visitors worked admirably to apply the pressure until the end, the knowledge that the tie was long since gone was noticeable in the performance of Gasperini's side during the final exchanges, as Juventus comfortably secured their place in yet another Coppa Italia final.

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)