Defensive masterclass from Matthijs de Ligt and Merih Demiral steer Juventus into the final of Coppa Italia, thanks to 2-1 aggregate win over Inter Milan.
Juventus advanced through to the final of the Coppa Italia with a hard-fought goalless draw with Inter Milan on Tuesday. The Italian champions were heading into this game with a 2-1 aggregate so a draw was enough to seal a victory.
It was a difficult game for Inter Milan, who were pressured by the aggregate score in the first leg. Juventus’ away goal, in particular, meant that the Nerazzurri had to go for it at the Allianz Stadium, but the hosts soaked up all the offensive pressure quite well, with Gianluigi Buffon rarely being tested.
In fact, it was the Bianconeri who had more shots on target despite having just 12 attempts on goal compared to Inter’s 21. Cristiano Ronaldo caused the opposing defence trouble on a few occasions and even came close to finding the goal that would have sealed the tie for Juventus.
Instead, the defending Serie A champions had to brace themselves for a nervy end of the game as their defence weathered the final storm from the opposition to seal a place in the Coppa Italia final. And here, at the Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the two teams in this goalless draw at Allianz Stadium this midweek.
Gianluigi Buffon: 7/10
In a game that saw chances come far and few between, Buffon was troubled in the Juventus goal. He did remain strong whenever it was needed, notably making one important save to deny Lautaro Martinez.
Danilo started ahead of Juan Cuadrado to add more defensive solidity in the Juve backline. He didn’t disappoint either, keeping things quiet on the right flank.
Matthijs de Ligt: 8/10
Matthijs de Ligt was one of the key performers in this defensive masterclass from Juve. The Dutchman was a rock at the back, barely allowing any freedom for Romelu Lukaku.
This @juventusfc centreback duo vs. Inter Milan 😍:
🇳🇱 Matthijs de Ligt (21)
🚀 6 clearances
❌ 4 interceptions
⚔️ 2 tackles won
💪🏻 7/8 duels won
🇹🇷 Merih Demiral (22)
🚀 4 clearances
🧱 5 blocked shots
❌ 3 interceptions
🎯 94% pass completion
Off to the Coppa Italia final! pic.twitter.com/oxVn1Qewim
— Football Wonderkids (@fbwonderkids) February 9, 2021
Merih Demiral: 8/10
While de Ligt kept Lukaku in check, it was Merih Demiral who was busy in denying Inter Milan attackers to cause problems. He was especially quite active in blocking efforts from the opposition. A top-class performance.
Alex Sandro: 6.5/10
Alex Sandro perhaps wasn’t as solid as his defensive teammates but that is understandable as the fullback was assigned a more attacking role when compared to Danilo.
Cuadrado was installed in the right-wing position to further solidity the right flank for Juventus. He did his job well, helping out Danilo at times.
Rodrigo Bentancur: 7.5/10
Rodrigo Bentancur fared well in central midfield, providing the urgency in the second line of press and looking tidy in the build-up.
Adrien Rabiot: 7.5/10
Adrien Rabiot offered a bit more spark in the middle of the park, with his ability to drive forward. His industry was critical in keeping Inter occupied.
Federico Bernardeschi: 6/10
Federico Bernardeschi had a difficult time providing any kind of creativity from the left flank. He often lacked ideas to penetrate Milan Skriniar and was eventually subbed off.
Dejan Kulusevski: 6/10
Dejan Kulusevski didn’t have the best of games against Inter Milan as far as his usual role is concerned. He offered very little attacking support for Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 7/10
Cristiano Ronaldo’s hunger to find the back of the net was a major weapon for Juve on the counter. He even troubled the opposing goalkeeper but was denied more than once.
90 Minutes Played
6 Shots (3 On Target)
1 Key Pass
91% Pass Accuracy
3/3 Dribbles Completed
8 Duels Won
Through to the Final! 🇮🇹🏆 pic.twitter.com/OxhhkVPo7q
— 𝗖𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗮𝗻𝗼'𝘀 𝗝𝘂𝘃𝗲 (@CrisJuveHD) February 10, 2021
Weston McKennie: 6.5/10
Weston McKennie replaced Bernardeschi to offer more defensive support for Sandro on the flanks. It was a smart substitution by Andrea Pirlo.
Giorgio Chiellini: N/A
A late replacement for Cuadrado. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Federico Chiesa: N/A
A late replacement for Kulusevski. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Samir Handanovic: 7.5/10
Samir Handanovic was one of the best players for Inter Milan in this game. The goalkeeper made a few saves to deny Juventus and Ronaldo, in particular, thus keeping his side in the contest.
Milan Skriniar: 7/10
Skriniar was solid enough to deal with the threat of Bernardeschi on the right but his trademark runs with the ball forward were missing.
Stefan de Vrij: 7/10
Stefan de Vrij remained strong in defence and dealt well with the occasional scares provided by Ronaldo. A good clean sheet but a disappointing result for his team.
Alessandro Bastoni: 7/10
Alessandro Bastoni had very little to do as Cuadrado and Kulusevski both struggled offensively. It allowed him to march forward with the ball, but to no avail.
Achraf Hakimi: 7/10
One of Inter’s main sources of creativity, Achraf Hakimi did well to keep Sandro at his toes. However, the right-back may have hoped for a better end product with his play in the final third.
🇮🇹 Great display from Achraf Hakimi, but he couldn't prevent Inter from being eliminated by Juventus in the Coppa Italia. Came close to scoring twice, but it wasn't to be. pic.twitter.com/uAjtD9pa1J
— Maghrib Foot (@MaghribFoot) February 9, 2021
Nicolo Barella: 6/10
Nicolo Barella offered the spark in midfield, as usual. He was a key ball-carrier for the away side, but his influence didn’t translate into anything serious.
Marcelo Brozovic: 6.5/10
Marcelo Brozovic had a little difficulty influencing the game due to the presence of competent midfielders like Bentancur and Rabiot. Not the best of performances from the Croat.
Christian Eriksen: 6/10
Christian Eriksen produced a plethora of crosses but his end product was poor. It appears unlikely that he will be able to redeem himself under Antonio Conte anytime soon.
Matteo Darmian: 5/10
Unlike Hakimi, Matteo Darmian was dealt with a more defensive solidity on the left flank for Juventus. So the Italian unsurprisingly found it difficult to influence the game.
Romelu Lukaku: 6.5/10
Lukaku had absolutely no answer to de Ligt’s marking as the former Manchester United struggled to even get himself involved in the game. A poor offensive display.
Matthijs de Ligt and Merih Demiral nullified Romelu Lukaku and Christian Eriksen put in a disappointing performance in Turin, check out the player ratings.https://t.co/vhVRR56VBD#CoppaItalia #JuventusInter pic.twitter.com/JS5GGHmB4s
— footballitalia (@footballitalia) February 9, 2021
Lautaro Martinez: 6.5/10
Lautaro Martinez missed an excellent chance in the first half and was involved in key moments, but it wasn’t nearly enough to make any impact on the proceedings.
Ivan Perisic: 6.5/10
Ivan Perisic came on for Darmian to provide a little more creativity and attacking prowess on the flanks but to no avail.
Aleksandar Kolarov: 6.5/10
A 65th-minute replacement for Bastoni. Offered a bit offensive quality and acted as the additional playmaker.
Stefano Sensi: 6.5/10
Replaced Eriksen midway through the second half, but it wasn’t enough to make a difference to the game.