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Coppa Italia: Napoli 2 Juventus 0

20 May 2012 23:22

Napoli won their first trophy in 22 years, after a deserved 2-0 victory over Italian champions Juventus at Rome's Stadio Olimpico.

After a tightly-contested first half, Napoli hit the Serie A winners with strikes from Edinson Cavani and Marek Hamsik as Walter Mazzarri's men extinguished the Old Lady's hopes of a double on Alessandro Del Piero's farewell game for Juve.

Napoli got off to a great start, with Camilo Zuniga's unmarked header on the end of a great cross by Hugo Campagnaro forcing Juventus goalkeeper Marco Storari to tip the shot wide.

Moments later, Napoli created another superb chance as Ezequiel Lavezzi released Cavani with a exquisite pass after winning the ball from Arturo Vidal, but the Uruguayan was flagged for offside just as he was about to pull the trigger.

Juventus' answer came through Claudio Marchisio in the 19th minute, when the midfielder collected a Del Piero finish, which was blocked by Napoli's defence, and struck the ball from well outside the box, only to see his powerful drive saved by Morgan De Sanctis.

Just before the half-hour mark, the Naples outfit almost got the opener when Hamsik fell one step short of connecting with a floating cross by Lavezzi at the left post, much to the relief of the Juventus faithful.

The last minutes of the first half belonged to Juventus as Marchisio and Del Piero tested De Sanctis, but the goalkeeper stood strong to deny the duo.

Both teams employed conservative tactics in the beginning of the second half as the game was becoming increasingly scrappy. Blerim Dzemaili created a superb chance for Napoli in the 50th minute when he whipped in a cross, which Cavani just could not connect with in the centre of the box.

Napoli would not wait long for the opener, however, as just after the hour mark Lavezzi found himself behind Juventus' defence only to be taken down in the penalty area by Storari.

Cavani stepped up to convert the resulting spot-kick, sending a powerful low effort in the right corner to give Napoli a deserved lead.

This was the Uruguayan's fifth goal in Coppa Italia this season as the striker finished atop the scoring charts in the competition.

Juventus tried to get back into the game, but were struggling to create chances after the opener as Napoli were valiantly holding off the Old Lady's advances.

Juve coach Antonio Conte decided to withdraw Del Piero in the 68th minute as the curtain fell on the legendary striker's illustrious career with the club.

The tireless Vidal almost drew the game level shortly after, but was denied by De Sanctis, who did well to parry the Chilean's thunderous volley at the right post.

In the 74th minute, Simone Pepe was rather unfortunate to see a goal-bound finish deflected of its path as the Old Lady were tightening the grip. Despite their best efforts, Juve were unable to break down Napoli in the remaining time, and were even punished for their over-commitment in attack with another goal.

A quick break saw Goran Pandev release Hamsik in a one-on-one with Storari, and the attacker made no mistake as he slipped the ball past Storari to bring Juventus to their first defeat in their 2011-2012 campaign.

To add to Juve's misery, Fabio Quagliarella was sent off in the final minutes of the game for elbowing Salvatore Aronica to complete their capitulation.

The victory saw Napoli lift the Coppa Italia for the fourth time in their history.

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