21 hours ago
Substitute Alvaro Morata scored in extra time as Juventus beat AC Milan 1-0 to win the Italian Cup on Saturday, becoming the first club to win the league and cup double in consecutive seasons.
In the 110th minute at the Stadio Olimpico, Morata required one touch to redirect a cross from Juan Cuadrado past Milan’s 17-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
The loss means Milan will miss out on Europe for a third consecutive season. The Rossoneri had to win the final to qualify for the Europa League following a seventh-place finish in Serie A.
The goal came two minutes after Morata came on for Hernanes, and on the forward’s third touch.
‘My friends asked me yesterday if was playing and I told them no. So they said, `Well, you’ll come on and score a goal,” Morata said. ‘I wish every final would be like this.’
It might have been Morata’s last match for Juventus, amid reports that he could return to Real Madrid.
‘Now I’ve got to prepare for the European Championship,’ Morata said when asked about his future. ‘Today I can’t think about that (transfer).’
While Morata was largely relegated to a bench role this season behind Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic, it’s not the first time he’s scored a big goal for Juventus.
In last season’s Champions League semifinals, Morata scored in both the first and second legs against Madrid, plus a temporary equalizer in a 3-1 loss to Barcelona in the final.
It’s Juve’s 11th Italian Cup title. Milan, which has five titles, hasn’t won the cup since 2003 – and no trophies at all in nearly five years, since the 2011 Italian Super Cup.
Milan controlled for almost the entire first half, attempting 10 shots to Juve’s one in the opening 45 minutes. After that, it was an even match until Morata’s late strike.
‘We probably deserved it more considering how we played but we lacked the knockout punch,’ Milan midfielder Riccardo Montolivo said. ‘If we had played all season the way we did tonight it probably would have been a different type of season.’
In the final segment of added time, Milan substitute Jose Mauri sent a potential equalizer just wide.
Minutes later, Italy President Sergio Mattarella presented the trophy to Juve’s Giorgio Chiellini, who was captain for the night since Gianluigi Buffon did not play.
Donnarumma; Calabria, Zapata, Romagnoli, De Sciglio; Montolivo (Mauri), Poli (Niang); Honda, Kucka (Balotelli), Bonaventura; Bacca.
Substitutes: Diego Lopez, Mauri, Mexes, Menez, Luiz Adriano, Niang, Abbiati, Alex, Balotelli, Boateng, Locatelli, Bertolacci.
Booked: Zapata, Mauri, Niang, Honda
Neto; Barzagli, Rugani, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner (Cuadrado), Lemina, Hernanes (Morata), Pogba, Evra (Alex Sandro); Mandzukic, Dybala.
Substitutes: Buffon, Zaza, Morata, Alex Sandro, Cuadrado, Padoin, Asamoah, Sturaro, Rubinho, Pereyra.
Booked: Rugani, Barzagli,Chiellini, Morata, Pogba