Having only lost one match in their last 19, it was Fiorentina with the advantage with the two away goals after the 2-1 win in their Coppa Italia semifinal first leg encounter in Turin. And if they needed any more icing on the cake, they had one in that Juventus had never managed to overturn a first leg defeat at home in the competition. Yet despite the absences of key personnel and the first leg defeat at home, Juventus put in a tremendous performance to win 3-0 on the night, 4-2 on aggregate, owing their excellence and progression to team spirit and intelligent coaching.
When Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri announced his starting line-up, this particular column was disappointed. Was Alessandro Matri the right man to field? Would a 4-3-3 with Simone Pepe not have given the squad something extra? Yet if there is one thing the critics have learned is that Allegri always knows best, systematically proving just how well he understands both his squad and the opponents they face.
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