Coppa Italia Report: Juventus 2-4 Inter Milan

Ivan Perisic was the hero of Inter Milan as they beat Juventus 4-2 thanks to a Croatia double in extra time. It was an exciting upside down game with some excellent football played by both sides.

Inter Milan had put four goals against Empoli in the league on Friday in the last hour and resumed the game from where they left off. Simone Inzaghi’s side opened the scoring in seven minutes thanks to Barilla’s brilliant moment. A half-free corner kick was recycled to Barella, who dropped his shoulders to create space before curling the ball past stranded Mattia Perin.

The goal gave the Nerazzurri the upper hand as they began to control the ball. Juventus pressed them high, but Inter managed to play through the lines with ease. It wasn’t until the defensive line became more aggressive as the old lady turned the tide and created a bunch of chances halfway through the first half.

First, Juan Cuadrado played in Paulo Dybala who shot directly at Samir Handanovic. The Inter goalkeeper was playing another minute later, this time making a stunning one-handed save from Dusan Vlahovic from the corner.

Juventus began winning midfield battles with the growing influence of Dybala and Federico Bernardeschi. The latter made a powerful shot that was kept by Marcelo Brozovic from the goal. He then shot the resultant corner and found Matisse de Ligt who met the ball well but saw his head turned from Handanovic.

From the resulting angle, Juve arguably had the best chance of a tie. The ball fell in the penalty area temptingly after a first header and Dybala met it with a shot. His bouncing efforts, though, went too far and the Argentine should have at least hit the target from that range.

Inter responded to Juve’s challenge by upping their tempo and rediscovering some flair in the opening stages. Hakan Calhanoglu fired a shot that was blocked before Brozovic made a long shot. Both teams advanced in the match but could not create more clear chances until the end of the first half.

Juventus came out of the break with renewed energy and immediately put Inter ahead. Massimiliano Allegri threw Alvaro Morata in place of Danilo, and the switch led to the Spaniard’s equalizer within five minutes of the start of the second half.

Valahovic received the ball and returned to the goal and tried to turn, but was unable to do so. The ball was broken by Alex Sandro, who fired a low shot towards the goal. Morata was positioned directly in front of Handanovic and got the fewest number of clicks to confuse the goalkeeper, who fired the ball into the net.

Two minutes later, Juve completed the transformation with a lightning counterattack. Morata got the ball deep in the defensive half on the right and made a pass to Bernardeschi. The Italian put the ball in the path of Dybala who made a good pass on the first time to Vlahovic. The striker sat on De Ambrosio before shooting Handanovic. The goalkeeper saved the first attempt but was helpless as Vlahvic hit the rebound.

The action didn’t stop there as Inter tried to respond. Calhanoglu was played with a clever flick by Skriniar on the left and he passed to the far post. Right-back Matteo Darmian met her on the ball but Perrin equaled her and walked away.

Juventus continued to find spaces as Inter chased after the match and Morata fired a good shot that Handanovic saved. Despite this, Allegri decided to take a conservative step, switching to three central defenders where Leo Bonucci came in in place of the somewhat unknown Denis Zakaria.

But Bonucci had the opposite effect on the match when he dropped Lautaro Martinez in the 78th minute to give Inter a penalty. It was a bit unfortunate because there was nowhere to go but he snagged the striker and the penalty was the right call. Calhanoglu did not commit a foul from 12 yards, and fired his effort into the top corner.

Both sides seemed to reluctantly accept the result of going into overtime in the past 10 minutes as neither side pushed for a win. Inter looked stronger in the first half of extra time, moving the ball faster but unable to find openings.

Juventus quickly gifted them another golden opportunity when de Ligt clumsily bumped into Stefan de Vrij in the penalty area. The referee did not refer to the penalty point, but the VAR examination showed that the Dutchman had dropped his compatriot. With Calhanoglu off the field, the penalty kick responsibilities fell to Perisic who did nothing wrong and gave Inter the lead.

The Croatian full-back killed the match a few minutes later with a strong finish. Inter saved and Federico Dimarco found space on the left wing. He cut a short pass to Perisic, who hit one touch and hit the far top corner to make it 4-2.

Juventus pumped bodies forward and had a few half chances but this turnaround was a step too far for this side. Inter Milan exited the game with relative ease after a frantic match to claim the trophy.

Here are the main points from the match –

Paradise Perisic

Ivan Perisic has been a reliable player for the big clubs throughout his career, but this season, at the age of 33, he’s been a shining star for Inter. He’s been excellent throughout the campaign and has especially shone in the big matches. Perisic’s performance in the Coppa Italia final was his best moment.

What’s even more surprising is that the full-back is a freestyle player this summer. His contract expires next June, and the big parties around Europe are supposed to back off to sign him. They only need to watch the final on Wednesday as proof.

Allegri mixed bag

Massimiliano Allegri looked like he put in an elaborate tactical performance as he switched systems at half-time and threw a massive throw at Alvaro Morata. He was crucial in bringing about the initial turnaround but the manager game management after that was poor.

Replacing Bonnucci was unsuccessful as the central defender dropped a penalty kick. Worse, however, is that the system of five defenses took away the momentum of Juve and gave Inter the momentum. Alegre’s late submarines were also somewhat ineffective, and he would be lying awake at night wondering what it could have been.

Rossoneri feature?

Inter Milan may have won the Coppa Italia, but the high intensity plus an extra half hour of playing time will hurt them this weekend. Inzaghi’s men are currently two points behind rivals AC Milan at the top of the Italian league, with only two games left to play.

They play Cagliari on Sunday and it will not be an easy match with their opponents who are fighting relegation. Maintaining the same level of performance will be difficult for Inter. This victory could come at a very high cost to Inter Milan.