Juventus struggle past Parma in Coppa Italia


Juventus needed a last-gasp Alvaro Morata goal to beat troubled Parma 1-0 in the Coppa Italia quarter-final. The winners of this tie at the Stadio Tardini will go on to face Roma or Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia semi-finals. Kingsley Coman was given a rare start after his spectacular debut goal for Juve in the last Coppa round, but this game arrived during a crisis for Parma. Antonio Cassano terminated his contract by mutual consent after six months of unpaid wages, while they were bottom of the Serie A table. The Ducali lost 7-0 to Juve in November, so confidence was understandably low. Giorgio Chiellini’s header was charged down and Raffaele Palladino blasted just over the bar with a solo effort. Parma put up a strong performance and lost Pedro Mendes to a bruised shin, but still saw Daniele Galloppa’s strike go off target. The hosts had the only scoring opportunities of the first half, including a fantastic Antonio Nocerino volley that was decisively blocked for a corner by Chiellini. Juventus finally had a chance on the stroke of half-time, but it was an accident, as Simone Pepe’s cross went past everyone to smack against the far post. Arturo Vidal then turned the follow-up wide. Chiellini’s bullet header whizzed over from a corner, while Coman hit the side-netting after turning his marker. Rispoli saw his volley deflected by Chiellini, while Gabriel Paletta nodded over from a corner and Andrea Pirlo’s free kick was comfortably held. Max Allegri threw on Paul Pogba and Alvaro Morata to avoid extra time, but the Frenchman’s strike was charged down. Mirante’s first genuine save was at the 83rd minute on a Morata snapshot, then Fabiano Santacroce deflected Claudio Marchisio’s strike onto the crossbar. Just as extra time seemed inevitable, Morata ran on to a Fernando Llorente through ball and three Parma defenders hesitated, allowing him to waltz round the goalkeeper. There is the suspicion of offside for Llorente, though it's a matter of centimetres.