Juventus got the job done in the first half of their 3-1 victory over Roma, sending them through to the Coppa Italia semi-final against Milan or Torino.
Maurizio Sarri made six changes from the weekend’s Serie A win over Parma, including Douglas Costa and Daniele Rugani in a 4-3-3 formation, but Mattia De Sciglio, Giorgio Chiellini, Samu Khedira and Merih Demiral were injured. Paulo Fonseca couldn’t afford many choices, as Edin Dzeko was suspended, with Javier Pastore, Federico Fazio, Nicolò Zaniolo, Diego Perotti, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mirco Antonucci and Davide Zappacosta injured.
Justin Kluivert couldn’t keep his shot down from close range on an Alessandro Florenzi assist, as the visitors had the better start, but didn’t finish their promising moves.
Instead, Juve scored on the counter. Gonzalo Higuain sent Ronaldo sprinting down the left and his left-foot finish was drilled into the far bottom corner from a tight angle. It was CR7’s 13th goal in the last 10 competitive games for Juventus.
Danilo drilled wide, but Rodrigo Bentancur doubled Juve’s lead. He started the run from midfield, combined with Douglas Costa, rode a tackle and was fortunate his scuffed finish bounced in off the inside of the far post.
Douglas Costa stung Pau Lopez’s gloves from the edge of the box after intercepting a loose ball, but Danilo limped off with a muscular problem, so Juan Cuadrado had to come on despite suffering from flu symptoms.
It was nearly 3-0, Gianluca Mancini making a decisive, brave block on Miralem Pjanic. However, on the resulting short corner, a Douglas Costa cross was floated in for Leonardo Bonucci’s header and he sprung the offside trap for 3-0.
Davide Santon replaced misfiring Kluivert for the restart and Roma had a huge double chance immediately. Lorenzo Pellegrini’s solo effort was only parried by Gigi Buffon and Nikola Kalinic fired the rebound on to the upright from point-blank range.
Moments later, the woodwork was rattled at the other end by a looping Higuain header on Ronaldo’s cross from the right.
Roma had come out fighting for the second half and got back into the game, as a ferocious Cengiz Under solo effort from the edge of the area bounced off the underside of the bar, hit Buffon on the back and rebounded in.
It was almost 3-2 on 56 minutes when a Mancini slide-rule pass released Florenzi down the left, but Buffon was decisive this time, rushing out to block with his legs one-on-one.
This was a far more open second half, Higuain’s volley on a Juan Cuadrado cross straight at Pau Lopez from point-blank range. Daniele Rugani needed a fantastic defensive header to stop Kalinic turning in at the far post.
Aleksandar Kolarov thought he’d made it 3-2 deep into stoppages, but his header was brilliantly palmed off the line by Buffon at full stretch.
Juventus 3-1 Roma
Ronaldo 26 (J), Bentancur 38 (J), Bonucci 45 (J), Buffon og 50 (R)
Juventus: Buffon; Danilo (Cuadrado 41), Rugani, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic, Rabiot (Matuidi 76); Douglas Costa (Ramsey 67), Higuain, Ronaldo
Roma: Pau Lopez; Florenzi (Veretout 68), Mancini, Smalling, Kolarov; Diawara (Peres 76), Cristante; Under, Pellegrini, Kluivert (Santon 46); Kalinic
Ref: Rocchi
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