Coppa Italia: Juventus scrapes into final after Milan stalemate

Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty as Juventus edged past AC Milan after the second leg of the Coppa Italia semifinal ended in a goalless draw.

Cristiano Ronaldo missed a 16th minute penalty against AC Milan in the Coppa Italia second leg.   -  ap

Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty as Juventus was held to a 0-0 draw by 10-man AC Milan on Friday but squeezed into the Coppa Italia final as the football restarted in Italy following a three-month stoppage due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Juve qualified for Wednesday's final on away goals following its 1-1 draw in the first leg of the semi-final, played on February 13, and will faces Napoli or Inter Milan who meet on Saturday.

The two key moments happened within six seconds of each other early in the match played behind closed doors at the Allianz Stadium.

Juventus was awarded a penalty in the 16th minute after the VAR officials spotted the ball hitting Andrea Conti's elbow but Ronaldo, whose late penalty in the first leg turned out to be decisive, slammed his effort against the foot of the post.

It was the second penalty missed by the 35-year-old in two seasons at the club.

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Milan cleared the ball upfield when forward Ante Rebic aimed a wild kick at Danilo and was sent off, forcing the visitor to play for more than 70 minutes with 10 men.

Milan, missing veteran forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic with a calf injury, held out well but rarely threatened to snatch the goal that would have taken it to the final.

Hakan Calhanoglu came the closest for the Rossoneri with a diving header early in the second half which missed the mark narrowly.

“The emotions are strange,” said Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci. “After 90 days, we were playing again in an empty stadium and it was strange at the start.”

Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri did not give a post-match interview while his counterpart Stefano Poli was left to reflect on the goal they conceded at home and Rebic's red card.

“We committed the naive act of ending up with a man less. Then afterwards we had a great game and then we had chances to go ahead,” he said.

“The results are clear, two draws. The difference was subtle. I don't think we played worse than our opponents in the two games.”

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