Post subject: Matri fires Bianconeri to Coppa Italia Glory
20. May 2015, 23:02
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|Juventus lifted the Coppa Italia trophy with a 2-1 win over Lazio thanks to Alessandro Matri's injury-time strike on Wednesday.
Massimiliano Allegri's men were desperate to end a barren spell in the competition having lost their last three finals and, although they struggled in regulation time, Matri proved decisive in the 97th minute to wrap up a domestic double.
Things had started dreadfully for the Champions League finalists, as Lazio captain Stefan Radu gave the Rome club a fourth-minute lead inside their Stadio Olimpico ground.
Giorgio Chiellini hit back in spectacular fashion shortly after as Juve eyed a turnaround in search of a record 10th Coppa victory, but Lazio looked the more threatening in attack.
Filip Djordjevic was particularly dangerous after his 82nd-minute introduction, testing Marco Storari and striking both posts early on in extra-time.
But Juve were absolutely clinical when it mattered, Matri stroking home after seeing a previous strike cruelly disallowed for offside in the 87th minute, leaving Allegri's men with only Barcelona standing in the way of a treble.
The Turin giants were slow out of the blocks and Lazio's urgency from the start was rewarded after just four minutes.
Danilo Cataldi whipped in a fine free-kick delivery from the right after an Arturo Vidal foul and Radu found the top-right corner with a combination of his head and shoulder.
Conceding the opener provided the wake-up call Juve needed, though, and parity was restored just seven minutes later as Chiellini fired into the roof of the net with an unorthodox close-range finish following Patrice Evra's header.
Despite surrendering their lead, Lazio continued to look the more fluid of the two teams in attack.
Cataldi should have restored the one-goal advantage with 27 minutes on the clock, but he could only hit a feeble 18-yard effort straight at Storari, before Marco Parolo smashed a half-volley agonisingly wide from distance shortly after.
Lazio were lucky to escape just before the break, though, as Carlos Tevez sliced over from 12 yards following a cut-back from Evra.
The first real chance of the second half did not arrive until the 84th minute and Lazio wasted it, as substitute Djordjevic ran through and hit a tame effort at Storari when one-on-one.
A Juve substitute then thought he had stolen a late triumph soon after, but Matri was harshly adjudged to have been offside when finding the net and the contest ultimately went to extra-time.
Lazio began the extra 30 minutes with intent, but luck was not on their side, as Djordjevic's 30-yard effort hit both posts early on and Matri capitalised soon after.
Tevez's initial effort was blocked well on the edge of the area, but the Italian was on hand to find the bottom-right corner, though goalkeeper Etrit Berisha should have done better.
Juve then proceeded to absorb pressure in expert fashion and Lazio's lack of ideas saw Allegri's men see out the encounter, surpassing Roma as the Coppa's most-decorated club.