Alessandro Matri was the unlikely hero when he arrived off the bench to score an extra-time winner which gave Juventus a 2-1 win over Lazio in the Coppa Italia final and kept them on course for the treble. Matri, who has changed clubs in each of the last four transfer windows and been a fringe player since returning to Juventus in January, slotted the ball into the corner of the net in the seventh minute of extra time. While the Bianconeri were targeting the Treble, having already secured the Scudetto and preparing for the Champions League Final against Barcelona, the Aquile were looking to recapture the trophy they last won in 2013. Juve hadna t lifted the trophy since 1995 and had Claudio Marchisio and Alvaro Morata suspended. Lucas Biglia was injured for Stefano Piolia s side at the Stadio Olimpico, but surprisingly both teams used three at the back.
Without suspended striker Alvaro Morata, whose goals against Real Madrid lifted Juve into the Champions League final on June 6, coach Massimiliano Allegri fielded Fernando Llorente alongside Serie A’s top scorer Carlos Tevez in attack. Lazio got off to a great start and went in front when Radu headed Danilo Cataldi’s free-kick past Juventus goalkeeper Marco Storari.
Juventus pulled level soon after. Andrea Pirlo’s free-kick was knocked down by Patrice Evra, leaving Chiellini to smash the ball from six yards and beat Berisha. In the 25th minute, Llorente headed Evra’s cross over the bar. Two minutes later and a fast counter-attack by Lazio saw Felipe Anderson sent Cataldi through on goal but his effort lacked pace and did not trouble Storari. Before the interval, Marco Parolo’s stinging drive from 25 yards went wide of the far post.
Defences were on top for the first 10 minutes of the second half but then the chances slowly came as both teams looked tired. Paul Pogba headed a Stephan Lichtsteiner cross over the bar and Parolo tried his luck from distance. Leonardo Bonucci received a yellow card for tripping Antonio Candreva minutes after Evra was also cautioned. Santiago Gentiletti curled a free-kick over the bar and Parolo had another chance that went off target. As the second half progressed, Juve became more defensive and Lazio looked more willing to win the game in open play. Candreva and Anderson made some dribbles but they failed to create chances on goal with them. Roberto Pererya came on for Pogba and his cross-shot flashed across goal. Filip Djordjevic came off the bench and almost restored Lazioa s lead, running on to a long ball, but Marco Storari was alert to smother at his feet. Alessandro Matri had the ball in the net when running on to a Pirlo pass over the top, but was flagged offside in a tight decision. In stoppage time, Teveza s swerving shot from distance just went over the bar.
Lazio thought they had scored in extra time when Djordjevic unleashed a rocket from distance, but it bounced off the inside of the near post and then hit the other upright to go back out. It was an extraordinary strike and so unlucky. Matri nodded a Pereyra pull-back over from six yards, but then the substitute turned the Final around completely. Pouncing on the rebound from a Tevez blocked shot, he hit it too powerfully from 10 yards for Berisha to keep out, the ball bouncing off his wrist and into the roof of the net. It was a splendid Pirlo pass to begin the move, but Matria s second Coppa Italia goal for Juve after scoring in the semi-final against Fiorentina.
Dusan Basta drilled wide from a Lazio corner and Pirlo tried to curl a free kick directly from a tight angle, punched away by Berisha. Keita Balde Diaoa s strike was deflected and Tevez fired wide. Lazio could not find a way through as Juve held on for victory at the Stadio Olimpico.
Juventus are now on course for a first-ever club treble after claiming their first Coppa Italia crown in 20 years. It was a record 10th Coppa title for Juve, although their first since 1995. Having already won Serie A for a fourth successive season, Juventus will attempt to cap their season by winning the Champions League in the final against Barcelona on 6 June. Luis Enriquea s side will also be chasing a treble of their own in Berlin after they clinched the La Liga title with victory at Atl tico Madrid on Sunday.