Defending Serie A champions Inter Milan outdid Juventus to win their first Coppa Italia title since 2011 on Wednesday night.

For the second time this season, Juventus and Inter Milan played out a 120-minute affair that saw the Nerazzurri come out on top. The match appeared to be a throwback to the 2010/11 campaign where Inter last won the Coppa Italia. Curiously, it was also the last time that Juventus ended a season without a trophy.

In a thoroughly entertaining fixture, it was Inter who struck first blood in the sixth minute courtesy of Nicolo Barella. Juventus, to their credit, kept fighting and turned the tie around early in the second half. Quickfire goals from Alex Sandro and Dusan Vlahovic put the Bianconeri in the driving seat with 38 minutes to go.

Inter were handed a lifeline in the 80th minute when Leandro Bonucci brought down Lautaro Martinez in the penalty area. Hakan Calhanoglu showed nerves of steel to step up and dispatch the penalty to force extra time.

With momentum on their side, Simone Inzaghi’s side took the game to Juventus in added time and won themselves a second penalty after Matthijs de Ligt brought down Stefan de Vrij. Ivan Perisic stepped up this time to put his side ahead for the second time on the night.

The Croat was at the centre of things once again and curled in a peach of a strike to hand his side a two-goal cushion. This time Inzaghi’s men held on to secure the club their second trophy of the campaign.ย 

Inter will now look to carry their momentum to what has been an exciting title race against AC Milan. Juventus, meanwhile, end the season trophyless and have much to ponder over ahead of the 2022 summer transfer window.ย The Hard Tackle looks at how both sets of players fared on the night.

Juventus

Mattia Perin: 5/10

Juventus kept faith in their reserve goalkeeper who played a key role in their journey to the final. Perrin did well to deny Matteo Darmian soon after Nicolo Barella had given Inter the lead. It largely kept Juventus in the game, giving them hope of mounting a comeback. There was little the Italian shot-stopper could do to save both of Inter’s spot-kicks.

Alex Sandro: 7/10

The Brazilian was up for the game and caused Inter numerous issues down the right flank. He was alert to respond to a de Vrij block in the second half and fire a shot. It took a deflection off Alvaro Morata before beating Samir Handanovic to draw Juventus level. Sandro also defended well and was an assured presence on the flank.

Giorgio Chiellini: 6/10

The veteran was largely decent and organised the defence to the best of his ability. Unfortunately, it was not enough as Inter breached the Juventus defence twice during Chiellini’s stay on the pitch. He will now depart the club a legend and with nothing to show for in his final season in Turin.

Matthijs de Ligt: 4/10

The Dutchman was a bundle of nerves on the night and was privy to several errors.ย  He never quite regained his bearings and also conceded the decisive penalty in extra time for a poor challenge on countryman Stefan de Vrij.

Danilo: 5/10

Danilo did not last the whole game and was taken off in the first half due to an injury. He had a difficult time against Ivan Perisic who ran rings around him on the flank.

Federico Bernardeschi: 6/10

The Italian forward put in a performance that can be classified as his best in Juventus colours for some time now. He showed tenacity and intelligence and was up for the occasion. Bernardeschi played a key role in the build-up to Vlahovic’s goal.

Adrien Rabiot: 6/10

The Frenchman was a reservoir of energy and did not stop running all night. While his offensive contributions were limited, he got stuck in and was a stalwart in defensive operations. Rabiot also passed well and did not shy away from making a crunching tackle or two when required.

Denis Zakaria: 5/10

The Swiss international won several duels but was often caught out of position as Inter got stuck in. Apart from that, he did little of note and it was a far cry from the performances he put up in the early part of his Juventus career.

Juan Cuadrado: 4/10

The Colombian was one of Juventus’s poorest performers on the night. He did little of note at either end of the pitch and looked genuinely out of his depth on the night. He also failed to keep track of Ivan Perisic who was a constant danger down the flank.

Paulo Dybala: 7/10

The Argentine international caused Marcelo Brozovic plenty of problems and was a threat to the Inter defence all night. He was excellent in transition and also played through Vlahovic for Juventus’s second goal of the night. But Dybala will be unhappy that he failed to find the back of the net in what was his last major final for the club.

Dusan Vlahovic: 6/10

The Serb led the line well and was available to run into channels when needed. He took his goal well but proved wasteful otherwise. It was a performance that had its ups and downs, and he eventually failed to grab the game by the scruff of the neck.

SUBSTITUTES

Alvaro Morata: 6/10

He replaced an injured Danilo early on and had a positive impact. Morata added further impetus to the Juventus attack and kick-started the move that culminated in their equaliser. But he faded as the game went on.

Leandro Bonucci: 4/10

The Italian veteran came on for Zakaria in the 67th minute as Juventus sought to shut up shop. However, he ended up giving away the penalty that permitted Inter to take the game to extra time.

Manuel Locatelli: 5/10

The UEFA Euro 2020 hero replaced Bernardeschi in the 67th minute as Allegri sought to see the game out. He was decent but appeared rusty after coming off an injury spell.

Arthur: 5/10

The former Barcelona man replaced Chiellini in the 84th minute as Juventus sought to regain a foothold in midfield. He was decent at best and failed to make any decisive contributions.

Luca Pellegrini: 6/10

He replaced Sandro in first-half stoppage time. Pellegrini had a decent game but lacked the same intensity that Sandro brought onto the pitch on the night.

Moise Kean: 4/10

The youngster replaced Dybala in the 99th minute just as Inter were about to steal a march on the night. Kean barely touched the ball and was largely the invisible man.

Inter Milan

Samir Handanovic: 6/10

The veteran was a wall in the first half and kept his side in the game. Handanovic can be annoyed with himself for conceding twice early in the second half. Thankfully for Inter, he did not lose his nerve and maintained his composure for the remainder of the game.ย 

Milan Skriniar: 6/10

Skriniar originally struggled to impose himself on the left side of a back three. Thankfully his game picked up after being redeployed on the other flank.ย  While it was not the defender’s best performance, he was largely solid on an individual level.

Stefan de Vrij: 7/10

The veteran went into the game on the back of a horror show against Empoli in Serie A. To his credit, de Vrij rose to the occasion and was largely dependable. Apart from a difficult start to the second half, he was otherwise solid.

Danilo D’Ambrosio: 5/10

D’Ambrosio was decent in the first half and largely held his own. He looked rattled following Juventus’s fightback and was taken off in the second half.ย 

Ivan Perisic: 9/10

Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Perisic ran rings around Cuadrado and Danilo and was a constant thorn in Juventus’s side. He took his penalty well and curved in the goal of the night to help secure the win. If he was making a case for a contract extension, he must surely have done enough. Inter are a different beast when the Croat is in full swing.ย 

Hakan Calhanoglu: 6/10

Calhanoglu did not enjoy the best of games and struggled to impose himself on the field. He did to his credit, step up to take a high-pressure penalty that he dispatched well.ย 

Marcelo Brozovic: 7/10

He was largely in charge but struggled at times against Dybala. Brozovic did not crumble and steadily grew into his role, dominating the midfield battle. The Croat dictated play with ease and only got better as the game went on. He can perhaps consider himself lucky not to be sent off after kicking away the ball in frustration

Nicolo Barella: 7/10

The Italian ace produced an excellent performance that saw him make few errors and act with decisiveness. Barella opened the scoring on the night with a stunning goal in the sixth minute. He did not stop running all game and was always available to collect a pass.

Matteo Darmian: 6/10

Defensively solid, Darmian had an early shot on goal that was well saved by Perin. Apart from that, Darmian offered little in attack. He was eventually taken off as Inter sought an equaliser in the second half.ย 

Lautaro Martinez: 5/10

An average performance by the Argentine who was largely anonymous in the first half. He did raise his game after the break, but it was nowhere good enough to make a telling impact.ย 

Edin Dzeko: 3/10

The Bosnian looks done at the highest level, as he offered little to nothing on the field. He is not getting any younger, and it might be time to bid goodbye to top-level football. How he was not taken off at half-time is a mystery.

SUBSTITUTES

Joaquin Correa: 6/10

Correa replaced Dzeko in the 63rd minute and was an improvement in the sense that he offered more balance to the Inter setup. Correa’s attacking contributions were limited, but he defended from the front and was relentless when off the ball.ย 

Denzel Dumfries: 6/10

The Dutchman replaced Darmian as Inter looked for an equaliser. He was better going forward and added more energy and impetus to the Inter right.

Federico Dimarco: 6/10

Dimarco replaced D’Ambrosio and was an improvement at the back. He also grabbed himself an assist for his troubles.

Alexis Sanchez: 6/10

He replaced Martinez before full time and was an improvement. Sanchez’s ability on the ball saw him hold it up well upfield, helping Inter in their build-up play.

Arturo Vidal: 6/10

Vidal replaced a tiring Calhanoglu in the 90th minute and went about his job with little fuss. His energy was a welcome addition to the Inter midfield.

Alessandro Bastoni: N/A

The Italian made his return from injury in the 116th minute as Inter sought to see the game out. He had little to no time to make an impact.

Leave A Comment...

*