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Rediff.com  » Sports » Coppa Italia: Juve trump Inter on penalties, to face AC Milan in final

Coppa Italia: Juve trump Inter on penalties, to face AC Milan in final

March 03, 2016 11:55 IST

The players of the Juventus FC celebrate a victory at the end of the TIM Cup match between FC Internazionale Milano and Juventus FC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza

IMAGE: Juventus FC players celebrate victory at the end of the Coppa Italia Cup match against Inter Milan at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan on Wednesday. Photograph: Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Juventus held off a remarkable Inter Milan comeback by winning their Italian Cup tie 5-3 on penalties on Wednesday after a 3-3 draw on aggregate to set up a final against AC Milan.

Inter, beaten 3-0 in the first leg of the semi-final in Turin, rallied brilliantly to win the return match by the same score with two goals from Marcelo Brozovic and one by Ivan Perisic.

Rodrigo Palacio then missed his spot-kick in the shootout, the forward's effort bouncing back off the bar before Leonardo Bonucci's penalty sent Juve through.

A weakened Juve were lethargic and unadventurous and the visitors were punished for their complacency as Inter dominated the second leg.

Goalkeeper Neto, standing in for Gianluigi Buffon, handed Inter their opening goal when his clearance was charged down by Gary Medel.

The Chilean midfielder, nicknamed 'Pit Bull', appeared to barge Hernanes off the ball before playing in Brozovic who finished emphatically in the 17th minute.

Adam Ljalic almost reduced Inter's deficit further when he struck the bar but the hosts made it 2-0 on the night in the 49th minute when Eder's cross was finished by Perisic.

Neto was again at fault for the third goal in the 82nd minute as he let Brozovic's penalty go under his body after Daniele Rugani had brought down Perisic.

Milan, who defeated third tier Alessandria 6-0 in their semi-final on Tuesday, will meet Juve in the final for the first time since 1990.

“That was the worst performance we’ve had since I’ve been at Juventus," Bonucci told Rai Sport. “We got the approach wrong and made things easier for Inter."

Inter manager Roberto Mancini was full of praise for his team.

“It was a wonderful game,” he told reporters.

“I compliment the players for how they managed it.

“I am sad for them, they deserved to go to the final.”

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