It was a Derby d’Italia that had absolutely everything and the context surrounding Wednesday night’s bout only amplified the melodrama.
The 2022 Coppa Italia final oscillated both ways, was marred by controversy and won in extra-time by the criminally underrated Ivan Perisic, who capped off his masterful showing with a cup-winning brace.
Perisic’s heroics were enough for Inter to win their first Coppa Italia crown since 2011, all while simultaneously condemning their great rivals to a rare trophyless campaign – their first since 2010/11.
3 key takeaways from Juventus’ Coppa Italia final defeat
There’s plenty to discuss in regards to Juventus’ 4-2 defeat on Wednesday, and here are three key takeaways from the final.
Proactive Juventus pays dividends
Juventus were forced to come from behind on Wednesday as Nicolo Barella took advantage of a passive Bianconeri to open the scoring from distance after just seven minutes.
The signs were ominous for the inferior Bianconeri, who couldn’t get near Inter and their meticulous build-up. The Nerazzurri asserted total control early on with lynchpin Marcelo Brozovic pulling the strings. Mattia Perin, though, wasn’t tested further and Max Allegri’s side gradually grew into the final before enjoying a 15-minute period in the first half that resembled their high-octane start in April’s Derby d’Italia.
A sudden upturn in Bianconeri intensity flummoxed Inter, and Juve, thanks to their fierce counter-press and the aggression of Giorgio Chiellini, were able to sustain pressure and create chances at will. Paulo Dybala went close twice, while Dusan Vlahovic was superbly denied by Samir Handanovic following a quick transition.
Those 15 or so minutes may not have culminated in a goal, but it was the type of football that Juventini have longed for this season. Allegri’s side went again at the start of the second half, and this time they were able to make their pressure count by scoring two in as many minutes to turn the final on its head. First, substitute Alvaro Morata subtly diverted Alex Sandro’s effort beyond Handanovic before Vlahovic rounded off the slickest of counter-attacks to give Juve the lead.
It was a thrilling two minutes, and Vlahovic’s strike, for me, has to be considered one of Juventus’ goals of the season.
Their bravery, proactivity and precision had paid off, but that was as good as it got for Juve on Wednesday night.
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