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Kulusevski powers Juve to win 14th Coppa Italia title


Nepalnews
2021 May 20, 8:13, Kathmandu

Juventus restored some dignity to the current season by clinching a 14th Coppa Italia title after a 2-1 victory over Atalanta on Wednesday, as Dejan Kulusevski scored one and set up another.

The Bianconeri has had an unsuccessful campaign this season, having lost the Scudetto to Inter Milan and risks missing out the Champions League for next season. Coach Andrea Pirlo, who celebrated his 42nd birthday on the matchday, opted for Gianluigi Buffon in goal, while Cristiano Ronaldo spearheaded a three-forward line flanked by Kulusevski and Federico Chiesa.

About 4,300 fans were allowed into the Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia, the most since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic started in March 2020.

La Dea had a more aggressive start, but it was Juventus who took the lead against the run of play in the 31st minute when Ronaldo created chaos in the box, Weston McKennie poked for Kulusevski to finish with a spectacular curler.

Atalanta got back on level terms 10 minutes later through a counterattack in the midfield, Hans Hateboer pulled back for Ruslan Malinovskyi to drill home.

Juve sealed the win in the 72nd minute after a great team move as Chiesa broke into the box after a give-and-go with Kulusevski, before turning in from close range.

"It was a wonderful match between two great teams who fought until the final minute. It was a final worthy of the name, finally in front of the public, and it was important after everything that happened to have a good match," said Pirlo.

FC Juventus' Gianluigi Buffon (top) is thrown up in the air by his teammates after the Italian Cup final football match between Atalanta and FC Juventus in Reggio Emilia, Italy, May 19, 2021. 

Photo: AP
FC Juventus' Gianluigi Buffon (top) is thrown up in the air by his teammates after the Italian Cup final football match between Atalanta and FC Juventus in Reggio Emilia, Italy, May 19, 2021. Photo: AP
FC Juventus' Gianluigi Buffon (front C) lifts the trophy during the awarding ceremony of the Italian Cup final football match between Atalanta and FC Juventus in Reggio Emilia, Italy, May 19, 2021. 

photo: AP
FC Juventus' Gianluigi Buffon (front C) lifts the trophy during the awarding ceremony of the Italian Cup final football match between Atalanta and FC Juventus in Reggio Emilia, Italy, May 19, 2021. photo: AP

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