Juve into Coppa final despite Ronaldo miss

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The two teams drew 1-1 in the first leg of the semi-final at San Siro in February but had to wait four months for the return match at Allianz Stadium because of the coronavirus pandemic leading to the suspension of major sport across the globe since March.

Prior to kick-off a minute's silence was held for those who died from COVID-19, before a round of applause for the nation's health workers. Milan had warmed up in Black Lives Matter shirts, while Juve sported tops saying No To Racism.

Ronaldo scored from the spot to salvage a draw in the first leg but was unable to repeat the trick after a VAR (video assistant referee) review in the 16th minute. Ante Rebic was sent off for a wild lunge on Danilo just 17 seconds later but Juve failed to capitalise on its personnel advantage as it scraped a place in the showpiece.

The Bianconeri were awarded a penalty after referee Daniele Orsato reviewed video footage and deemed that Andrea Conti handled the ball in the area, but Ronaldo's drilled effort from the spot cannoned back off the left upright.

Gianluigi Donnarumma perhaps got the slightest of touches on it but as Milan attempted to clear their lines, Rebic caught Danilo in the chest with a dangerous high foot and was shown a straight red card.

Blaise Matuidi had a volley batted away by Donnarumma in the 31st minute and Ronaldo warmed the goalkeeper's gloves, while Milan failed to test Gianluigi Buffon during forays forward that were surprisingly frequent despite their numerical disadvantage.

Hakan Calhanoglu sent a free header wide within three minutes of the restart before Stefano Pioli finally sent on a striker to replace Rebic, Rafael Leao coming on for Giacomo Bonaventura.

Despite both teams being allowed up to five substitutions each they clearly suffered from fatigue in the second half and neither side could find a winner as the match meandered to a low-key stalemate.

Its club-record run of 10 straight home wins in the Coppa may have ended, but Juve is still fighting for silverware on three fronts.

Maurizio Sarri's men will have their work cut out to achieve it, though; they only hold a one-point advantage over Lazio with 12 Serie A games remaining and before the hiatus lost the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie with Lyon 1-0.

Before thinking about that they have a chance to wrap up a 14th Coppa success in their 19th appearance in the final, where Inter Milan or Napoli will be the opponent on Thursday (AEST).


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