Inter Milan almost pulled off an incredible comeback against Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus in the second leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final, winning 3-0 on the night to level the score on aggregate, but ultimately losing out on penalties to the Turin side.
Juventus travelled to the Giuseppe Meazza on Wednesday with a 3-0 aggregate lead to face Inter Milan in the Coppa Italia semi-final second leg. What seemed like a straightforward task for the Bianconeri quickly turned into a nightmare, with Roberto Mancini’s men putting in an outstanding performance to claw themselves back into the tie.
Midfielder Marcelo Brozović opened the scoring, before his compatriot Ivan Perišić made the Old Lady sweat by adding a second just after half time. Allegri’s worst fears were confirmed when Inter Milan won a penalty in the final minutes of the game, which Brozović duly converted.
Unfortunately for Mancini’s men, the Nerazzuri lost 5-3 in the penalty shoot-out, with Inter’s Rodrigo Palacio being the only player to miss his spot-kick.
Juventus deserve criticism for their performance
Although it was Juventus fielded a changed lineup on Wednesday, manager Max Allegri acknowledged that his side deserved criticism and that Inter deserved praise for their spirited fight-back.
The Italian was quoted as saying after the game (via ESPN FC): “This is another part of the growth process, as when you have young players and go into games that seem easy and aren’t. You learn to do better. Inter deserve credit and we deserve criticism.
“Inter were very intense and we didn’t keep the right distances. I don’t think we managed two consecutive passes in the first half and so we were struggling in possession as well as off. Clearly I didn’t prepare them properly for the game.
“Do I say ‘phew’ after this? A huge phew! A long phew.”
Incredible Juventus run comes to an end
Although Juventus progressed to the final, which means that the result will officially be recorded as a ‘win’, this was the first 90-minute game the Bianconeri have lost since their 1-0 defeat to Sevilla in the Champions League group stages on the 9th of December last year.
The incredible run stretched to 16 games without defeat in all competitions, and along with propelling them into the Coppa Italia final, it has also seen them climb to the summit of the Serie A table.
Allegri’s side will now seek to defend their Coppa Italia trophy against AC Milan at the end of the domestic season.