Roma vs. Juventus, Coppa Italia: Final score 1-0; Roma advance to the semi-finals

Paolo Bruno

Rudi Garcia's men had to work hard, pressuring Juventus until almost the last minute, but in the end they got their revenge: A win for Roma and they're on to the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia.

You'd think that a Coppa match featuring Serie A's top two sides would be a thriller. You might expect plenty of shots from both sides, desperate blocks, fantastic saves, even intriguing midfield matchups.

Not so from the meeting between Roma and Juventus. For the first 25 minutes, nothing much at all happened, unless you're the type that enjoys watching the visitors pass the ball around inside their own half. With Juve inviting pressure, Roma began to work their way into the match. While the flowing attack typical of Rudi Garcia's team was present, the giallorossi just couldn't capitalize. The cross would come in, no one was there to get on the end of it. A ball would be sent across the face of goal, and no one followed through to knock it in.

Roma were clearly missing a poacher, but Garcia, likely mindful of the possibility of added time, made no changes at the break. The hosts were nearly punished immediately when Federico Peluso got the ball in the back of the net, but the cross had drifted out of play. After that, play settled back into a dull rhythm, with neither side increasing tempo or taking chances.

With fifteen minutes left to play, Garcia made an inspired decision, bringing on Miralem Pjanić for Alessandro Florenzi. The pace and tempo increased instantly and, less than five minutes later, Roma took the lead. The Bosnian won possession and flew up the left flank, easily getting past Angelo Ogbonna to send a perfect reverse pass to Kevin Strootman. Gervinho slipped through the Juventus defenders to get on the end of Strootman's cross, slotting in from close range.

Antonio Conte, who'd introduced Fernando Llorente for Sebastian Giovinco just two minutes before the Roma goal, tried to shake things up further by replacing Peluso with Carlos Tévez, but it was too little, too late. Conte risked playing his second-string against a strong side, and now his Old Lady are out of the Coppa.

AS Roma: De Sanctis; Maicon, Benatia, Castan, Torosidis; Nainggolan, De Rossi, Strootman; Florenzi (Pjanić 75), Totti (Ljajić 83), Gervinho

Goals: Gervinho 79'

Juventus: Storari; Barzagli (Ogbonna 45), Bonucci, Chiellini; Isla, Vidal, Marchisio, Pirlo, Peluso (Tévez 81); Quagliarella, Giovinco (Llorente 77)

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