Juventus beats Fiorentina 3-0 to reach Italian Cup final
FLORENCE, Italy (AP) — Juventus overcame a first-leg deficit with a 3-0 win at Fiorentina on Tuesday to advance to the Italian Cup final and keep alive its hopes of a treble.
Seeking its first Italian Cup trophy in 20 years, Juventus advanced on 4-2 aggregate.
Filling in for the injured Carlos Tevez, Alessandro Matri put Juventus ahead from close range midway through the first half and Roberto Pereyra doubled the lead just before halftime by knocking in a rebound.
Leonardo Bonucci capped the victory with a volley inside the near post following a corner in the 59th.
“We showed how strong we are today,” Pereyra said. “We won a complicated match in a tough stadium... We have a solid team and we always train well.”
Napoli hosts Lazio in the other semifinal Wednesday following a 1-1 opening leg.
The final will be played in Rome on June 7.
Juventus is cruising toward its fourth straight Serie A title and faces Monaco in the Champions League quarterfinals.
“We’re going step by step,” Pereyra said. “Now we’ll focus on Parma and then the Champions League.”
With nine Italian Cup titles, Juventus shares the record with Roma but has not won the trophy since 1995.
Tevez was ruled out during the afternoon for precautionary reasons due to a right thigh muscle problem, and Matri was named as a surprise starter pairing with Alvaro Morata in attack.
Mohamed Salah, who scored both of Fiorentina’s goals in the opening leg, was again dangerous early on and had a goal ruled out for a foul five minutes in.
Matri took advantage in the 21st following a cross from Claudio Marchisio, with Pereyra’s initial attempt leaving his strike partner with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Fiorentina came close to equalizing in the 37th when Gonzalo Rodriguez had a goal disallowed for offside following a pinpoint header from a free kick.
In the 44th, Pereyra found the target after goalkeeper Neto stretched to block a shot from Morata.
Fiorentina showed some life after the break but Mario Gomez wasted an opportunity by hitting the outside of the net and Bonucci soon sealed the comeback.
The only negative note for Juve came when Morata was sent off three minutes from time for a foul from behind on Alessandro Diamanti. He’ll miss the final.