STADIO OLIMPICO (Rome): Juventus’ dominance of the Coppa Italia continued in perhaps the most unlikely of seasons, with Massimiliano Allegri seeing his team deliver a defensive masterclass in the final to claim a 1-0 win over Atalanta. The win saw Italy’s Old Lady claim their 15th Coppa Italia trophy and what is their first trophy since winning it in 2020/21, also against the Nerazzurri.

The Bianconeri came into Wednesday’s final in Rome without a win in six outings, the first time since 2009 they’d chained together so many winless matches, so it might have been reasonable to assume that run would come to an end in typical Juventus and Allegri fashion.

Dusan Vlahovic got the game’s only goal before even four minutes had been played, and from then on the Bergamaschi came up against a black-and-white wall camped out in front of Mattia Perin‘s penalty area. Gian Piero Gasperini‘s side weren’t even able to manage a shot on target. 

Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic celebrates the opening goal against Atalanta in the Coppa Italia (@juventusfc).

Vlahovic takes centre stage early on

Atalanta came into this one fancied by many, and there was a real feeling that this game, against this Juventus, was the best chance that Gasperini has had and would have to finally mark his incredible tenure in Bergamo. But that hope was dealt a real blow early on through Vlahovic as he broke through from deep and after doing well to hold Isak Hien off, he finished past Marco Carnesecchi

What followed wouldn’t have come as a surprise to anybody who has seen this Juventus play. The Bianconeri got tight and made it impossible for Atalanta to break them down. With Danilo, Gleison Bremer and Federico Gatti at the back, Perin‘s goal was locked down. 

Any shot Atalanta tried was blocked by one of the countless Bianconeri bodies between the shooter and goal, every cross was headed away, and each attempt to play through the crowd was sniffed out and sent down the pitch. 

Mario Pasalic in action for Atalanta in the Coppa Italia final (@Atalanta_BC).

Another defensive masterclass from Allegri’s Juventus

That trend carried over into the second half as well, and it was only when La Dea were forced to commit more men forward that space opened for the Old Lady to counterattack into. 

Vlahovic looked to have scored his second of the game late on with a fine header after making Rafael Toloi‘s defensive efforts look schoolboy, only to be thwarted by technology and the narrowest of offside margins. 

Dusan Vlahovic celebrates scoring for Juventus in the Coppa Italia final. (@juventusfcen)

At the other end, Ademola Lookman came closer than any other Atalanta player as he hit the post from the edge of the area, but the one-time Coppa Italia winners were limited to half-chances, with neither Aleksei Miranchuk nor Teun Koopmeiners proving able to turn their efforts goalwards when the ball fell their way in a rare niche of space in the Juventus box. It was clear that Gianluca Scamacca was a big miss, with a real lack of physical presence or a target noticeable in the area for La Dea. 

Perhaps most concerningly for Gasperini though was Marten de Roon needing to be taken off in the second half, seemingly in tears, which will throw his participation in the upcoming Europa League final against Bayer Leverkusen into serious doubt. 

And so with the final whistle came Juventus’ 15th Coppa Italia trophy, which is six more than second-best sides, AS Roma and Inter, who have nine each.

Atalanta remain stuck on one, and have now lost three finals in the competition under Gasperini. Now, the Nerazzurri will turn their attention back to securing a top-five finish in Serie A and on next week’s Europa League final against a so-far-invincible Bayer Leverkusen side in Dublin.