There are only three matches left in this season's edition of Coppa Italia, but before we can get to the big final in Rome, there are two semifinal second legs to play. In one, AC Milan has a deficit to make up and they have to do it in Turin after Juventus went to the San Siro and came away 2-1 winners. In the other, Napoli gets to go home and has an away goal to their name, but they are chasing a 2-1 deficit, which isn't exactly ideal considering the struggles they have against bottom table teams.
Two matches, two spots in the final on the line. Who wants to go to Rome?
Juventus vs. AC Milan
The San Siro was supposed to be a haven for Milan, but Juventus went there in the first leg and grabbed a 2-1 win. Martin Caceres did most of the work in that match, scoring a brace to lead the Old Lady and opening eyes with his second goal, which was an absolutely stunning strike.
As important as going a goal up, though, were the two away goals that Juventus scored. Now, Juve gets to head back home and play for the scoreless or 1-1 draw with even a 1-0 loss putting them through. For a team that excels in making matches borderline unwatchable, this is exactly what Juventus wants. They can go out there and dare Milan to score two on them and you would be hard-pressed to find a non-Milan supporter anywhere who would bet on them to do it.
With the big edge that Juventus has, they can afford to rest some players and keep the focus on the league. Gianluigi Buffon and Alessandro Matri will get the match off and Andrea Barzagli will continue his recovery from injury, but it shouldn't matter much. Andrea Pirlo will still be out there and Alessandro Nesta, Robinho and Kevin-Prince Boateng are all doubtful to be fit for selection for Milan. Let's be honest about this -- as soon as Juve won 2-1 in Milan, this tie was over.
Napoli vs. Siena
Siena managed a 2-1 home win in the first leg of the tie largely because of the heroics of Simeone Farelli. The goalkeeper was sensational, denying Napoli time and time again so despite the visitors' dominance for much of the match, Siena still a had a chance. And when Siena got their chances, they took advantage, scoring a pair and then turning the match back to Farelli, who continued to astound.
With the league out of reach and now the Champions League over, Napoli can really make Coppa a focus. Being behind and chasing a goal against an inferior team doesn't really work too well for Napoli, though. They don't really want the ball and are content to give away possession, choosing to strike on the counter-attack instead. Against teams like Siena, who just try to put numbers behind the ball, Napoli has no choice except to take the ball and try to break down 10 in defense. It isn't what they want to do and it has foiled them before, but it is what they have to do, especially being down a goal.
It's tough to imagine Siena really going for it. They will bunker in Naples and why not? Napoli struggles when teams play them that way and it worked in the first leg.