Petkovic thrilled with Juve win
Lazio coach Vladimir Petkovic has heaped praise on his team following their progression to the Coppa Italia final at the expense of Juventus.
Lazio survived an exhilarating finale and emerged 2-1 winners in the second leg on Tuesday, after Sergio Floccari's 95th-minute winner cancelled out Arturo Vidal's equaliser moments earlier, handing Lazio a 3-2 aggregate victory.
Lazio goalkeeper Federico Marchetti kept out a Sebastian Giovinco effort at the death and Claudio Marchisio failed to convert the rebound, prompting Petkovic to single out Marchetti for special praise.
"We are satisfied with the result and that was a crazy game at the end, but we had the right determination to take home the result," Petkovic told reporters.
"We deserve this joy and must always play at this level, as a great team cannot afford dips in intensity during a season. The squad is really growing and tonight’s performance proved it against a strong side like Juventus.
"Marchetti is having a fantastic season, not just in the individual saves, but the way he does his work and he is a reference point in the locker room."
Lazio will meet either Roma or Inter Milan in the final and while Petkovic admitted a local derby would make for a memorable match, he does not care who they come up against.
"We want to win the Coppa Italia, regardless of who our opponents will be. For the fans, a Rome derby in the final would be the ultimate game, but I have no preferences," he said.
Juventus coach Antonio Conte, meanwhile, felt his side were hard done by to be knocked out of the tournament, and said Juve played the better football over both legs.
"I believe that Juventus deserved much more than the result we have achieved," he said.
"We were the better side over the 180 minutes through both matches. In any case, this is football and sometimes it hurts.
"We're sorry because we wanted to get to the final match. I congratulate Lazio since they have managed to win, but we are obviously very disappointed to go out of the cup."
The coach defended his decision to start the match with both Marchisio and Andrea Pirlo on the bench
"If Marchisio and Pirlo had played from the beginning we might not have had had the right intensity," he said.
"Marchisio had played two consecutive matches and had recovered from an injury, therefore he couldn't start his third match in seven days, it was too much of a risk.
"Pirlo had recovered from his injury and we couldn't start him either, in order not to risk his availability in the match against Chievo. Therefore they were forced changes for me but I would have made them in any case as I have to rest players."