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Coppa Italia: Ronaldo double gives Juventus victory against Inter

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Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice in a tightly contested match to fire Juventus to a 2-1 victory against Inter Milan in the semi-final first-leg clash of the Coppa Italia, at San Siro.

Inter were without two influential players through suspension in Lukaku and wing-back Achraf Hakimi,

However, Lautaro Martinez gave the home side an early lead after squeezing the ball past Buffon after nine minutes to give the hosts a perfect start.

Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez scores opening goal against Juventus at San Siro stadium

The lead would only stand for 17 minutes as a poor foul from Ashley Young on Juan Cuadrado gave Juventus a penalty kick following a VAR review.

Ronaldo stepped up and smashed the ball into the roof of the net.

Cristiano Ronaldo scores penalty against during Coppa Italia semi-final match against Inter Milan at San Siro

The striker soon grabbed his second by pouncing on a miscommunication between Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic and defender Alessandro Bastoni on the edge of the box.

The miscommunication led to a wide open net for Ronaldo to put Juventus ahead, 2-1.

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates goal against Inter Milan at San Siro

Inter pushed forward after the break, but they were denied by heroic last-ditch defending as Alexis Sanchez’s shot was cleared off the line by Merih Demiral and Buffon showed sharp reflexes to save Darmian’s shot.

Despite Juventus being the more in-form of the two sides, the match played out fairly even, with both teams getting opportunities on the ball. The two teams exchanged shots into the second half, but nobody found the back of the net.

A second leg awaits the two clubs on the 9th of February, with Juventus leading on aggregate.

“We weren’t in that game, but it served as a lesson for us. From there we regrouped, worked on the errors and more victories arrived,” Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo said.

“But tonight was the first leg, there’s another game to come and it’s played over 180 minutes. Nothing is done yet.”

“The guys were great, they faced Inter with the right attitude from the first minute. We went behind, but we continued to play. There was a great reaction from the team,” he added.

 

Chidi Nwoke.

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