Napoli stunned Juventus to win the Coppa Italia trophy, defeating the reigning champions after the penalties.
After a goalless draw in the regular part of the game, Napoli defeated Juve on penalties, 4-2. This is a major upset, and just a few expected to see Napoli taking the silverware, even though their team consists of excellent individuals.
There were chances on both sides, with the team from the south having better ones at stadium Olimpico in Roma. Legendary Gigi Buffon had several unreal interventions, and he, in fact, saved his team from a much earlier defeat, giving the Old Lady a chance to get away with a win after all.
“We gave our all because we want to achieve something truly special,” ‘Dries Mertens told following the game, adding that his head coach Gennaro Gattuso did the right thing with changing the conception of play once taking over the wheel.
🏆 The 2020 #CoppaItaliaCocaCola is ours! 😍
— Official SSC Napoli (@en_sscnapoli) June 17, 2020
“I think the passing from the back, the tactics in a 4-3-3 are more suited to our football. With Ancelotti, we had done well in the Champions League, but I think the way we won today and celebrated, you can tell the desire to win that we have.”
We saw a true final right from the start, with lots of tackles and duels all over the field, and also with several chances, but unfortunately without goals.
Juve was the one to threaten first, with Cristiano Ronaldo shooting, after just five minutes. Napoli would respond in the 24th minute, with Insigne’s post. Until the end of the half, it was Buffon who saved Juve with the team from Turin enduring a heavy pressure.
The second half was a bit slower, and Napoli had better chances, with the best one coming in the 92nd minute, one Nikola Maksimovic’s shot once again hit the post.
The penalties had to decide the winner. Paulo Dybala and Danilo missed for Juve, while on the other hand, all four players scored for Napoli, which was enough for the trophy.
This was the 6th title for Napoli, who won the previous one in 2014, once they defeated Fiorentina.
Gattuso dedicated this win to his late sister, who recently passed away after a long and harsh illness.
“Life and especially football has given me so much more than I gave to it. It made me a man. In life, you always think of your parents and family first, so naturally what happened is hard to accept,” Rino said.
Gennaro Gattuso's first trophy as a coach has come after losing his sister to illness in recent weeks.
A special moment for the Napoli boss 💙 pic.twitter.com/5zPQhSSpjY
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) June 17, 2020
For Napoli, this comes as a true refreshment, after a not so bright season. Still, a trophy after a long time will definitely boost not only morale but also motivate the boys from San Paolo to play even better.
On the other side, Juventus received one hard slap in the face. This isn’t what they expected, especially before the restart of the championship. The Old Lady is about to experience a nasty battle with Lazio for Scudetto, and a defeat in this event could leave a massive trace on the morale of the squad.
We already witnessed some sort of a toxic environment inside the locker room during the season, once the Italian media reported about an alleged dispute between the players and the head coach Maurizio Sarri. This defeat might be an initial spark for more problems, and especially if another poor result comes soon enough.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.