Juve capture their third straight Coppa Italia with physicality and fluidity
Juventus won their first trophy of the season as they defeated Lazio 2-0 on Wednesday to lift the Coppa Italia for the third consecutive season.
A team that simply cannot be overcome in Italy, Juventus played with physicality and fluidity, taking complete control of the game in the first half. Dani Alves and Leonardo Bonucci scored the goals and imposed their superiority to allow for a more relaxed second half.
Lazio tried to create chances and improved in the second half, but their lack of efficiency coupled with Juve's game management resulted in the Turin giants lifting the Coppa Italia trophy for the 12th time.
Two of the finest full-backs, Dani Alves and Alex Sandro, truly know how to make an impact. With the latter pushing forward and delivering fine assists and Alves managing yet another goal as well as dominating the right lane, Juventus finally have the quality in the wide areas to ensure attacking brilliance.
After securing another victory and winning their first trophy of the season, Juventus cannot be criticised much. But several of the players are looking a little exhausted, resulting in a lack of precision and the squandering of several goal-scoring opportunities.
Manager rating (out of 10)
8 -- Urging his team to play with a high tempo and admirable intensity, Allegri made the decision to lean on Andrea Barzagli and Dani Alves on the right once again, and the move proved brilliant. With a perfect first half followed up by excellent game management, Allegri gave his players the tools to they'll need to lift several trophies this season. He consistently has emphasised the importance of team unity.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):
GK Norbeto Neto, 7 -- Alert and confident, Neto made some fine saves, rescuing his side from Ciro Immobile and, before him, Felipe Anderson. Reading the play well, he reacted quickly and confidently and played the game we have long expected of him.
DF Andrea Barzagli, 6 -- Read every situation perfectly, positioning himself well to ensure solid defending. Delivered some excellent passes going forward.
DF Leonardo Bonucci, 6 -- With another goal and another authoritative performance, Bonucci proved composed and intelligent, intercepting well and ensuring safety at the back.
DF Giorgio Chiellini, 8 -- An excellent game for the captain, who made vital clearances, produced accurate long balls and read the game beautifully, thwarting every Lazio move. A warrior who seems to be aging like fine wine, Chiellini is a must for the big matches.
DF Alex Sandro, 7 -- He had more touches than any other player. Alex took control of the left flank, delivered both assists, produced the key passes and proved accurate yet again.
MF Tomas Rincon, 6 -- A fighter in midfield who provides physicality, Rincon lacks technique but always plays with heart.
MF Claudio Marchisio, 6 -- Always so composed on the ball, this is a player who knows how to keep possession and frustrate the opponent. But he's still not at his usual levels, and was looking a little exhausted as the game wore on.
MF Dani Alves, 8 -- Scoring the opening goal, delivering the vital passes and completely dominating the right side, Alves was yet again Man of the Match.
MF Paulo Dybala, 7 -- As the playmaker who creates so many of Juve's best moves, he showed movement and the ability to overcome his defender, ensuring goal-scoring opportunities. Only a fine save stopped him from scoring.
MF Mario Mandzukic, 6 -- Exhausted, Mandzukic struggled for precision but did well to recover possession and help command the left lane.
FW Gonzalo Higuain, 6 -- He squandered several opportunities on goal. Higuain must prove more decisive, but this is a player who works hard for the team and always moves intelligently.
MF Mario Lemina, N/A -- Couldn't make an impact, as he arrived at a time when Juventus were looking to lock down the result.
Mina Rzouki covers Juventus and the Italian national team for ESPN FC. Follow her on Twitter: @Minarzouki.