Fri, Feb 01, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Atalanta oust Juve from Coppa Italia

‘ONLY HUMAN’:Manager Massimiliano Allegri said that ‘everything went wrong’ in a match that saw Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo denied a first goal in the tourney

AFP, MILAN, Italy

Atalanta BC’s Duvan Zapata scores a goal in their Coppa Italia quarter-final against Juventus at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia in Bergamo, Italy, on Wednesday.

Photo: EPA-EFE

Four-time defending champions Juventus on Wednesday crashed out of the Coppa Italia with a 3-0 quarter-final defeat by Atalanta BC, while AS Roma suffered a humiliating 7-1 thrashing at the hands of ACF Fiorentina.

Juventus had been bidding for a fifth consecutive Serie A and Coppa Italia double this season.

However, a Duvan Zapata brace after rightback Timothy Castagne’s opener put the side from Bergamo, Italy, through to a semi-final meeting with Fiorentina.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus earlier this month won their first trophy of the season in the Supercoppa Italiana.

However, they on Wednesday suffered their first defeat in a domestic competition this season, as they ride high and unbeaten in Serie A.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side had come from behind against SS Lazio in league action over the weekend, with Ronaldo snatching a 2-1 win in Rome.

The Portuguese superstar could not find a way through for a first Coppa Italia goal, with Juventus also hit by defender Giorgio Chiellini going off injured in the first half hour.

Castagne opened the scoring after 37 minutes, with Zapata grabbing another two minutes later, before adding a third four minutes from time for his 17th goal in 10 matches.

The Colombian ace also scored a double in a 2-2 draw when the sides last met in Serie A on Dec. 26 last year.

“It’s only human not to always be top. Now let’s put this behind us and think about the next Serie A match against Parma,” said Allegri, who was banished from the touchline for dissent. “I don’t know how many games the lads have won. In Rome we had a terrible first half, but we fought back. This evening everything went wrong.”

“It would have been crazy to think we could win every match. It hurts to go out, because we really wanted this trophy,” he said.

“Even the most optimistic fan could not have predicted this victory,” said coach Gian Piero Gasperini as the side from Bergamo target their second Coppa Italia title since 1963.

Earlier in Tuscany, Federico Chiesa scored a hat-trick as Fiorentina crushed a “shameful” Roma side.

Chiesa scored two early on, adding a third in the second half past overwhelmed Roma goalkeeper Robin Olsen, with Giovanni Simeone bagging a brace in the final 10 minutes.

Colombian Luis Muriel and Marco Benassi also found the net against a Roma side who were reeling after throwing away a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 with Atalanta over the weekend in Serie A.

“I’m bitter, but I won’t quit,” Roma coach Eusebio di Francesco said. “I’m disappointed in the team, there are no excuses. I struggle to explain what happened, as it was a game we got wrong in every conceivable way. It was shameful.”

Di Francesco’s side had fought back after a difficult start to the season with four straight wins in Serie A and the Coppa Italia, and are now fifth in the league.

“The frustrating thing is it’s so inexplicable,” the Roma boss said. “Every time we think we are healed, we discover the illness is still there.”

Chiesa got the first goal after seven minutes a receiving a cross from leftback Cristiano Biraghi.

A Bryan Cristante header rattled the post before 21-year-old Chiesa lobbed in his second over Olsen just after 15 minutes.

Aleksandar Kolarov pulled one back for Roma after a half-hour, but Fiorentina were soon two goals ahead again through Muriel.

The Colombian set up Benassi after 66 minutes, with Simeone coming off the bench to pile more misery on Roma, who finished the game with 10 men after second-half substitute Edin Dzeko was sent off for a second yellow card.

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