Thu, Apr 09, 2015 - Page 19 News List

Juventus crush Fiorentina to reach Coppa Italia final

AFP, ROME

Leonardo Bonucci of Juventus celebrates after scoring against ACF Fiorentina in their Coppa Italia semi-final second leg in Florence, Italy,on Tuesday.

Photo: EPA

Juventus thrashed ACF Fiorentina 3-0 on Tuesday to overturn a 2-1 semi-final, first-leg deficit and reach the Coppa Italia final.

Despite missing star players Carlos Tevez and Paul Pogba, Juventus crushed La Viola in the second leg at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence through goals from Alessandro Matri, Roberto Pereyra and Leonardo Bonucci.

They face either holders SSC Napoli or SS Lazio in the final. Those sides were level at 1-1 from the first leg in Rome and were due to meet in Naples yesterday.

Juve’s deserved victory provided a welcome boost ahead of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final, first leg against AS Monaco next week.

They simply proved too strong, physically, mentally and technically for Fiorentina, and with a 14-point lead over second-placed AS Roma in Serie A, the reigning champions remain on course for a treble, last achieved by Jose Mourinho’s Inter in 2009-2010.

Last year, Juve knocked Fiorentina out of the UEFA Europa League, winning 1-0 away following a home draw, and once again they proved ruthless on their travels.

Tevez’s replacement Matri opened the scoring on 21 minutes after mopping up the loose ball when Pereyra’s shot was blocked.

Pereyra was then on hand to knock home the rebound after goalkeeper Neto saved from Alvaro Morata just before halftime.

Due to the away-goal rule, Juve went into the game knowing they had to score at least twice to avoid going out, but with 45 minutes to play, they were a goal to the good on aggregate.

Bonucci’s volley from a corner just before the hour mark killed off the match, with Fiorentina needing to score three goals to progress as Juve had the away-goals advantage at that juncture.

The only black mark for Massimiliano Allegri’s men was a red card for Morata three minutes from time for a tackle from behind on Alessandro Diamanti.

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