Summer signings Costa, Matuidi help Juve reach Coppa Italia semis
Mario Mandzukic scored a controversial goal as Juventus defeated Torino 2-0 in the Coppa Italia quarterfinals to qualify for the next stage.
Juventus were firmly in control for much of the first half dominating play while their opponents merely watched. It wasn't long before Douglas Costa opened the scoring for the home side in fantastic fashion, unleashing a half-volley into the top corner. Torino tried to reply but M'Baye Niang only managed to hit the post.
Juve continued their search for another goal in the second half and Mandzukic wasted yet another great chance but did eventually score albeit in controversial fashion. In the lead up to the goal, Torino felt Sami Khedira had fouled Afriyie Acquah but despite reviewing the incident on VAR, the referee still awarded the goal to Juventus to further infuriate Torino and their coach.
Heads dropped after that and a mature Juventus closed out the game to set up a semi-final match against Atalanta.
Another excellent performance by Costa who has grown and progressed well during his time at Juventus. Creating play, distributing balls and scoring a magnificent goal, the attacker should be starting more matches.
No criticism on the night but if we must, the Bianconeri have to avoid the odd drop in concentration that allowed Niang to hit the post.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Unlike his rivals, Massimiliano Allegri's Juventus continue to improve and strengthen at a time their rivals are dropping off and dropping out of this competition. Despite rotating his squad, Allegri's men still achieved another objective and won another match with relative ease.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):
GK, Wojciech Szczesny, 6 -- Hardly put to work on the night, spent much of his time watching the proceedings.
DF Stefano Sturaro, 5 -- A torrid night for the makeshift defender who always tried his best and played with heart but is also not the most reliable. Torino constantly looked to punish him for his fragility.
DF Daniele Rugani, 6 -- Could have done better on Niang but settled in thereafter. Still not convincing when it comes to his awareness but these matches should help him to keep learning.
DF Giorgio Chiellini, 7 -- Magnificent on the night, both with the ball at his feet when he pushed forward to deliver passes and when defending, blocking, intercepting and tackling everyone to ensure safety.
DF Kwadwo Asamoah, 6 -- Combined very well with his teammates on the left and created play but he must be more attentive when in possession, as a times he can be dispossessed with ease.
MF Claudio Marchisio, 6 -- The man to ensure balance in midfield, always doing his duty. Uncovered space and ensured defensive solidity.
MF Miralem Pjanic, 6 -- With his presence, Juventus are more organised. Delivered precision and ideas to the midfield.
MF Blaise Matuidi, 7 -- Another all-action performance from the relentless midfielder who never stops working for the team. Exploiting space, applying pressure, Matuidi offers all the energy Juve need as well as another goal threat.
FW Douglas Costa, 7 -- A superb goal and some excellent play, he dribbles well and understands how to contribute to both phases of the game. Provides a consistent danger.
FW Paulo Dybala, 6 -- Good goalkeeping denied him a goal and he worked well to exploit space and deliver key passes but he must be more ruthless when he gets his chances.
FW Mario Mandzukic, 6 -- Always a generous player, Mandzukic attacked the spaces well and scored the second goal. However, he also spurned several good chances for goal and for that there is no excuse.
DF Stephan Lichtsteiner, 6 -- Arrived and immediately put in a good cross for Mandzukic that wasn't converted. Made tactically good runs and looked more defensively reliable than Sturaro.
MF Sami Khedira, 6 -- Came on and was accused of fouling Acquah leading to the controversy surrounding the second goal. Brought energy and intelligence.
FW Gonzalo Higuain, NR -- Struck twice and looked dangerous in the few minutes he was offered.
Mina Rzouki covers Juventus and the Italian national team for ESPN FC. Follow her on Twitter: @Minarzouki.