Coppa Italia offers sole silverware hope for struggling Juventus

Juventus FC v SS Lazio: Semi-final - Coppa Italia
Juventus FC v SS Lazio: Semi-final - Coppa Italia / Valerio Pennicino/GettyImages

Juventus put their recent league woes behind them, securing a commanding 2-0 victory over Lazio in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semifinal. The Bianconeri delivered a resounding answer to their critics after a lacklustre first half, finding their stride after the break and claiming a crucial lead for the return leg in Rome.

The first 45 minutes proved a tense affair at the Allianz Stadium. Fans grew restless as Juventus struggled to find their footing, leaving the pitch to a chorus of disappointment at halftime. However, the tide turned dramatically after the restart. Federico Chiesa ignited the Juventus fire, slotting the ball into the bottom right corner in the 50th minute after a clever through-ball from Andrea Cambiaso.

The return of Dusan Vlahovic, suspended for the weekend loss to Lazio, made a palpable difference. The Serbian hitman wasted no time, doubling the lead in the 64th minute. His deft stepover and pinpoint finish into the far corner marked his 16th goal of the season, a testament to his pivotal role in the squad.

Lazio fought back, nearly equalising before the break when Luis Alberto's header grazed the crossbar with Perin scrambling to recover. Despite a promising start that included a potential penalty overturned by VAR, the visitors were unable to match Juventus' second-half surge.

The 2-0 victory puts Juventus firmly in the driver's seat for the return leg on 23 April. Aiming to extend their record with a 15th Coppa Italia win, they'll need to maintain their new-found momentum to secure a spot in the final against either Atalanta or Fiorentina.

With their league campaign faltering, the Coppa Italia grows increasingly important for Juventus and their fans. This win over Lazio injects some much-needed optimism into the season, laying the groundwork for what could be a triumphant finish and a tangible reward for their supporters.