2019-20 Italian Coppa Italia, Semifinals
  • Ante Rebic (16')
2nd Leg - Tied 1-1 on aggregate - JUV
2nd Leg - Tied 1-1 on aggregate - JUV

Coppa Italia: Juventus book final spot over AC Milan as Italian football returns

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Juventus played to a scoreless draw against AC Milan despite a man advantage to secure passage to the Coppa Italia final.

The match at an empty Juventus stadium marked the return of Italian football returned following a 95-day pause due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Football was halted on March 9 as Italy was one of the worst countries hit by the pandemic and among the first to enact measures to combat the spread of the virus.

Friday's result let the Turin side book a spot in the final in Rome, after the first leg ended in a 1-1 draw in Milan on Feb. 13. The final is set for June 17, three days before the resumption of Serie A. Napoli lead Internazionale 1-0 in the other semifinal, with the second leg set for Saturday.

- Stream Napoli vs. Inter LIVE on ESPN+ (Saturday, 3 p.m. ET)

"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."

The match started brightly with Juventus pressing forward but missed an early chance when Cristiano Ronaldo wasted a penalty opportunity in the 16th minute with an attempt off the woodwork. The scramble for the ball saw Ante Rebic crash into Juve defender Danilo with his boots up, resulting in a red card.

Juventus remained on the attack with Blaise Matuidi and Ronaldo both having close-range shots saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma in the first half, but the hosts were unable to break the deadlock.

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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.

Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri did not give a post-match interview while his counterpart Stefano Poli was left to reflect on the goal they conceded at home and Rebic's red card.

"We committed the naive act of ending up with a man less. Then afterwards we had a great game and then we had chances to go ahead," he said.

"The results are clear, two draws. The difference was subtle. I don't think we played worse than our opponents in the two games."