Dejan Kulusevski scored one and assisted the other for Federico Chiesa, as Juventus beat Atalanta 2-1 to win the Coppa Italia, despite the Ruslan Malinovskyi rocket.
La Dea were hoping to win their first trophy since 1963, having lost the Final to Lazio two years ago, while Juve wanted their 14th edition of the Coppa Italia. Alex Sandro was suspended and Leonardo Bonucci had a knee injury, but the big news was 4,300 fans were allowed into the Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia, the most since the lockdown started in March 2020.
Duvan Zapata shrugged off Matthijs de Ligt to pull back from the by-line within three minutes, but Gigi Buffon used his legs to deny Jose Luis Palomino from point-blank range. The Colombian went for it himself moments later, turning Giorgio Chiellini to fire inches wide.
Adrien Rabiot made a last-ditch tackle on Matteo Pessina and the referee was right there, pointing to the ball.
Buffon was also alert when Duvan Zapata pounced on a weak De Ligt back-pass, while Remo Freuler flashed an angled drive across the face of goal.
It was Juventus who took the lead against the run of play, as Juan Cuadrado went into a crunching tackle on Robin Gosens to interrupt a potential attack, sparking the counter and Weston McKennie rolled across for a fantastic Dejan Kulusevski left-foot curler into the far corner.
Atalanta did get their goal eventually, as Remo Freuler turned Rabiot in midfield to start the move, before Malinovskyi’s rocket into the roof of the net from the edge of the box.
After the restart, McKennie’s glancing header whistled wide from a Cuadrado cross, while De Ligt made a very brave goal-saving tackle to stop Cristian Romero turning in from six yards.
Federico Chiesa pulled it back from the by-line for Kulusevski, forcing a great Pierluigi Gollini save at the near post, then Chiesa gathered a Ronaldo back-heel flick only to fire it onto the far upright of an open goal.
Juve were far more aggressive in the second half, so Atalanta introduced Luis Muriel and Mario Pasalic. Just as Paulo Dybala was preparing to substitute Chiesa, the latter scored a goal to restore Juve’s lead.
Chiesa cut inside from the left, completed a rapid give-and-go with Kulusevski and swept it past Gollini with the inside of his left foot from eight yards.
Atalanta moved to 4-2-3-1, and Juve introduced Leonardo Bonucci, despite Pirlo saying he was out with a sprained knee. La Dea were furious at a free kick awarded to Danilo for an alleged Ilicic push that interrupted a promising attack, leading to Rafael Toloi’s red card off the bench for dissent.
Atalanta 1-2 Juventus
Kulusevski 32 (J), Malinovskyi 42 (A), Chiesa 73 (J)
Atalanta: Gollini; Toloi (Djimsiti 76), Romero, Palomino; Hateboer (Ilicic 76), De Roon, Freuler, Gosens (Miranchuk 83); Pessina (Pasalic 68); Malinovskyi (Muriel 68), Duvan Zapata
Juventus: Buffon; Cuadrado, De Ligt, Chiellini, Danilo; McKennie, Bentancur, Rabiot, Chiesa (Dybala 74); Kulusevski (Bonucci 83), Ronaldo
Sent off: Toloi 88 (A, from the bench)