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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Juventus squeeze into Coppa final as Ronaldo misses penalty

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Juventus is the first team through to the Coppa Italia final as football returns.

Juve into final as Ronaldo misses penalty

Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty as Juventus were held to a 0-0 draw by 10-man AC Milan on Friday but the Turin side still squeezed into the Coppa Italia final as the season restarted following a three-month stoppage for the novel coronavirus.

Juve qualified for Wednesday’s final on away goals following their 1-1 draw in the first leg of the semi-final, played on 13 February, and face Napoli or Inter Milan who meet on Saturday. The two key moments happened within six seconds of each other early in the match played behind closed doors at the Allianz stadium.

AC Milan’s Danish defender Simon Kjaer comforts Juventus’ Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo after they collided.

Juventus were awarded a penalty in the 16th minute after the VAR officials spotted the ball hitting Andrea Conti’s elbow but Ronaldo slammed his effort against the foot of the post. Milan cleared the ball upfield but, as they did so, forward Ante Rebic aimed a wild kick at Danilo and was sent off, forcing the visitors to play for more than 70 minutes with 10 men.

Milan, missing veteran forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic with a calf injury, held out well but rarely threatened to snatch the goal that would have taken them into the final. They caused Juve only one real fright when Hakan Calhanoglu was close with a diving header early in the second half.

‘The emotions are strange,’ said Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci. ‘After 90 days, we were playing again in an empty stadium and it was strange at the start.’

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