Juventus vs. Milan  2 - 1


We deserved more, says Allegri

10 January 2013 09:11

AC Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri refused to be downbeat despite the 2-1 loss to Juventus in the Coppa Italia on Wednesday.

A Mirko Vucinic strike in extra time was enough to send Milan out of the tournament at the quarter final stage after the sides could not be separated over 90 minutes.

Allegri was happy with the performance but felt they were let down by some poor finishing at crucial moments.

"We put in a good technical performance against a great team, we didn't concede much, the guys played well and finished it well," he said.

"It's a pity to leave the competition like this, because seeing how the game progressed the fairer result would have been the draw and leave everything to penalties.

"We had a chance in the 87th minute to score with a header by (M'Baye) Niang, then in the 120th with (Bakaye) Traore, then another right after it. Perhaps it's fate hat it ended up like it did."

The Milan manager was unimpressed with the referee who he insisted wrongly awarded Juventus a free-kick that resulted in a Sebastian Giovinco equaliser in the first half.

"There wasn't a free kick there, but Giovinco struck it very well and sometimes actions like these are decisive for a match," he said.

Allegri also refused to react to criticism of his selection which saw him field a young side including 19-year-old defender Mattia De Sciglio and 18-year-old Niang or his choice to bring on striker Bojan Krkic in the second half.

"The third substitution always depends on who manages to continue playing, but Bojan entered the pitch and played well. I'm happy with his performance," he said.

"We're sorry because our team played well, but we can only leave the competition strengthened after such a good performance.

"We finished the match with a player born in 1994 and one in 1993 onto the pitch, and I think we're the only team in the world that plays with such young players."


Conte delighted with fighting cup success

10 January 2013 06:33

Antonio Conte praised the 'great response' from his side after Juventus fought back to beat AC Milan 2-1 in the Coppa Italia quarter-final.

Mirko Vucinic struck the winner in extra time after Sebastian Giovinco had levelled the match following Stephan El Shaarawy's early opener, and Conte was delighted that his charges were able to learn from their mistakes in their recent defeat to Sampdoria.

"It is always a tough game between these two great teams and clubs who have won so much," he told RAI after the match.

"Our hunger was huge and I received a great response from everyone, especially as I included many players who hadn't featured for a while.

"I told them that what happened against Sampdoria must never happen again."

Conte said there was plenty to look forward to for the Juve squad.

"This victory proves once more how extraordinary this group of players are. We won the scudetto last season, after a poor start which saw us in seventh place and we're trying to repeat that title this season," Conte said.

"We know we still need to grow and improve, there's still a long way to go, but we want to build something important. Victories are obviously good for our confidence and growth."

The 43-year-old reserved special praise for Marco Storari, who made a handful of impressive saves on the night as he deputised for Gianluigi Buffon.

"I compliment Marco Storari, as he played a great game in goal and I am very proud of him," he praised.

"Mirko Vucinic scored a goal in extra time, but lets' not forget that if Sebastian Giovinco hadn't scored the equaliser we wouldn't have played the extra time.

"Goals are always the result of decisive play from the whole team and it's the whole team that expressed themselves in the best way.

"We put in too much effort tonight though and now we have to try and recover our fitness and prepare for the difficult match we have ahead against Parma.

Man of the moment, Vucinic, was understandably elated after firing his team into the next round and hailed the efforts of the whole squad on the back of a disappointing weekend.

"All of us, all 13 or 14 players fought to win the game," the striker said.

"This team is different because everyone plays for each other and fights for the team. We didn't play as well as we could against Sampdoria, but we are fully focused on achieving all of our objectives."


Coppa Italia: Juventus 2 AC Milan 1

9 January 2013 23:48

Juventus needed extra-time to defeat AC Milan 2-1 at home on Wednesday and reach the Coppa Italia semi-finals.

Hosts Juve fell behind early to Stephan El Shaarawy's strike, but levelled through Sebastian Giovinco, before Mirko Vucinic decided the game in extra-time.

The crowd at Juventus Stadium was treated to a frenetic start to the quarter-final clash, as both teams pushed forward in search of an early opener.

Massimo Ambrosini was the first man to take aim at goal, his early snapshot pushed over the bar by Marco Storari with barely two minutes on the clock. It was a warning for Juve, and one the home team failed to heed as they fell moments later.

Kevin-Prince Boateng stretched the home defence with a storming run down the left flank, and did enough to turn in a low cross from the by-line.

Giampaolo Pazzini was intelligent enough to let the ball run, and it was El Shaarawy who took full advantage, as the Serie A top-scorer curled a well-taken effort past the flailing Storari and into the corner of the net.

Milan's attacking prowess could not hide certain deficiencies at the back, however - Alessandro Matri had a golden opportunity to level proceedings after connecting with a cross from Sebastian Giovinco, but the unmarked striker nodded wide.

Fortunately for the hosts, that miss was a minor blip on their way to an equaliser.

Francesco Acerbi was the villain for Milan; having given away possession, he compounded his error by felling Matri on the edge of the area. A marvellous free-kick from Giovinco gave Marco Amelia no chance, and with just 12 minutes played Juve were back on level terms at 1-1.

The game continued in the same open, high-octane fashion after the interval, but with neither side capable of forcing the decisive breakthrough.

As extra-time loomed both teams appeared to lower their tempo, playing more cautiously in anticipation of either an additional 30 minutes, or a decisive strike coming on the counter.

In contrast to the long deadlock in regulation play, it took Juve just six minutes of extra-time to gain the lead for the first time.

Emanuele Giaccherini did well with a tireless run to spearhead the break, and his deep pass rebounded into the path of Vucinic, who made no mistake in finishing from close range.

Milan attacked desperately in search of a way back into the match, but were frustrated in their onslaught by a determined backline and the impressive Storari as they bid farewell to the Coppa Italia.

The victory booked Juve's place as the second team into the semi-finals along with Lazio, who entered the last four thanks to a dominant 3-0 victory over Catania.


Conte to make changes for Coppa clash

8 January 2013 14:59

Juventus coach Antonio Conte has warned his men not to underestimate AC Milan in Wednesday's Coppa Italia quarter-final in Turin.

The 43-year-old has admitted that he is likely to make some changes to his team, but insists that the Rossoneri are a team to be reckoned with.

"Milan deserve to be respected. We will meet a great team. We have reached the quarter-finals of the competition and they will want to go as far as possible," Conte told reporters.

"Obviously, we have the desire to put in a great performance. I might decide to make a few changes to the team and field some players who have not been regulars.

"I expect a response from those players who will get a chance. I want to see progress from all my players.

"(Luca) Marrone could feature in (Andrea) Pirlo's position. (Mirko) Vucinic is having some physical problems and we'll have to deal with that. We cannot afford to miss him for a long time.

"The Coppa Italia gives me the opportunity to field those who have played less so far this season. It's a tough test, but one that allows me to assess the development of my players."

Claudio Marchisio will miss the clash through injury but Conte is confident he won't be out for too long.

"Marchisio's injury is thankfully just heavy bruising," he said. "He should shake it off in the next few days. I'm happy it's nothing serious."

Juve enter the clash on the back of a surprise loss to Sampdoria in the Serie A at the weekend.

"We should never end up losing a game when playing 11 against 10. We should have won that game. There were some peculiar incidents in which we were unfortunate," he said.

Serie A table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +50 91
2 38 +52 87
3 38 +55 86
4 38 +21 72
5 38 +23 70

Serie A table

# Team MP D P
4 38 +21 72
5 38 +23 70
6 38 +12 63
7 38 +23 62
8 38 +6 60