Juventus beats Atalanta 2-1 to win Italian Cup final

·2 min read

REGGIO EMILIA, Italy (AP) — Juventus put some shine on a disappointing season by beating Atalanta 2-1 Wednesday to win a record-extending 14th Italian Cup title.

Dejan Kulusevski and Federico Chiesa scored for Juventus, either side of Ruslan Malinovskyi’s equalizer for Atalanta shortly before halftime.

There were also fans present to celebrate. Approximately 4,300 supporters were allowed to attend after the Italian government gave its approval for the Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia to be at 20% capacity.

It was Andrea Pirlo’s second trophy in his first season as a coach, having steered Juventus to the Italian Super Cup in January.

However, Juventus saw its nine-year reign as Serie A champion ended by Inter Milan and is in danger of finishing outside the top four and missing out on a Champions League place.

Atalanta was bidding for its first Italian Cup trophy since 1963. It had lost three previous finals, including in 2019 to Lazio.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s side almost got off to the perfect start as Duván Zapata forced his way into the left side of the area before pulling back for José Palomino but goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon — playing what was probably his last match for Juventus — saved the shot with his legs.

Juventus took the lead against the run of play in the 31st minute as Juan Cuadrado sparked a counterattack and Weston McKennie rolled across for Kulusevski to curl into the far corner.

Atalanta leveled 10 minutes later when Remo Freuler managed to win the ball in a duel with Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot and spread it to the right. It was then rolled across for Malinovskyi to smash it into the roof of the net.

Juventus almost restored its lead on the hour mark as Cristiano Ronaldo's backheeled flick released Chiesa but his effort came off the right post, with Atalanta goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini beaten.

The Bianconeri did score the winner 12 minutes later when Chiesa played a one-two with Kulusevski before drilling into the left side of the net from close range.

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The Associated Press

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