2/28/2018 11:22:42 PM

Pjanic sends Juventus into fourth successive Italian Cup final

Pjanic sends Juventus into fourth successive Italian Cup final

Turin, Italy: Holders Juventus booked their ticket to the Italian Cup final for the fourth year in a row after a 1-0 win over Atalanta in a semi-final second leg tie played in the snow in Turin on Wednesday.

The first leg ended 1-0 in Bergamo thanks to an early Gonzalo Higuain goal, and Juventus also won the second when Miralem Pjanic slotted in a 75th-minute penalty awarded after Blaise Matuidi was fouled in the box.

The two sides were meant to play on Sunday in Serie A action, but that fixture was snowed off, and it was still snowing lightly in the Allianz Stadium.

"Compliments to the lads for what they did tonight and are doing this season," said coach Massimiliano Allegri.

The three-time holders will play either AC Milan or Lazio -- who are 0-0 going into the second semi-final later on Wednesday in the Stadio Olympico -- in the final which will be in Rome on May 9.

"We will play in a historical stadium, but it must not become an obsession," continued the Juventus coach of their bid for a record fourth Cup crown. 

"In the first half we had difficulty closing them down, after the break Douglas Costa started playing in a centre-forward role and that broke the game open."

Higuain missed out as he recovers from a sprained ankle with fellow Argentine Paulo Dybala coming off the bench after 11 minutes.

Atalanta had come out firing with Alejandro Gomez sending over the bar with Gianluigi Buffon tested as he latched on to Josip Ilicic's deflected cross pushing over the top.

Costa was at the centre of the action with the host's first chance coming after quarter of an hour, but Matuidi failed to get to finish off a Pjanic free-kick.

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