For the fourth consecutive season, Juventus have won the Coppa Italia, defeating Milan 4-0 in a sublime show of strength.
In truth, this wasn’t a Juventus side that controlled and dominated proceedings. Held at bay by a Milan side that played reasonably well for 56 minutes, the eventual errors committed by Gennaro Gattuso’s young squad gifted Juve the chances they needed to win.
Juventus are masters at exploiting errors and making the most of opportunities handed to them, and they rarely allow the opponent opportunities to get back into the game. Gigi Donnarumma’s double mistake allowed Juve two goals, while Nikola Kalinic scored Juve’s fourth to guarantee an excellent night for the Old Lady.
With Medhi Benatia determined to play the part of the predatory striker and Douglas Costa stunning all over the pitch, Juventus once again collected a domestic trophy and will celebrate into the night.
According to Opta, not since 1997 have Juventus managed to score four goals or more to beat Milan. A sublime show of solidity, Juve proved to be a cut above the rest by exploiting weaknesses, provoking mistakes and scoring the necessary goals to celebrate another triumph.
Manager rating out of 10
10 — What is there to say about the only coach in Europe to have won four doubles in a row? Despite the criticism aimed at him for his style of football, Massimiliano Allegri continues to prove he knows more about the game than most, navigating another difficult season and fulfilling his objectives. Humble enough to credit the boys rather than himself for the win, this trophy is for the coach who continues to astound the critics.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK, Gianluigi Buffon, 7 — Considering the woeful performance of his opponent, Buffon can be proud of his display Wednesday night. Alert on Patrick Cutrone’s shot and perfect enough to produce the double save to deny Manuel Locatelli and then Fabio Borini from the follow-up. Buffon is still the best in Italy.
DF Juan Cuadrado, 6 — Adapting to his new role well even if he wasn’t the most accurate in this one. He contributed well to the team’s attacking game, always looking to help, and delivered several key passes including the assist for Costa’s goal.
DF Andrea Barzagli, 7 — Strong, authoritative and composed, Barzagli is better suited to playing alongside tenacity in the form of Giorgio Chiellini or Benatia. Perfect leader at the back.
DF Medhi Benatia, 6 — His foul at the end of the first half was typical of the player who can be too aggressive at times, but the defender deserves nothing but praise for scoring twice, showing his opportunistic nature for the second and brilliance for the first. Excellent.
DF Kwadwo Asamoah, 6 — Another reliable performance from the player who remained vigilant and played with caution to ensure balance.
MF Sami Khedira, 7 — What’s beautiful is how Khedira observes, and once he figures out the opponent he delivers the necessary performance. That involved good, timely runs forward initially but then some great work on defense, sacrificing for the unit. Clearing the ball, winning back possession and covering the right gaps to cut passing lanes, he is a true intellectual on the pitch.
MF Miralem Pjanic, 6 — Not incredibly decisive in the first half, and as usual struggled to take the grip of the game. However, he improved once the team did in the second half and started to deliver, producing one key pass after another. A gorgeous delivery from his corner led to Benatia’s first goal.
MF Blaise Matuidi, 6 — Never fails to play with determination and ambition but struggles to deliver simple, composed accuracy at times. Pushes, defends and harries the opponent but very nearly scored an own goal.
FW Paulo Dybala, 7 — He boasts the kind of talent people dream of, and he tried to use it effectively. Pushed forward well in the first half and then forced Donnarumma into some excellent saves. Dybala tried a beautiful shot from distance toward the end but just missed. Proactive and determined.
FW Douglas Costa, 8 — Scored an excellent goal, even produced a decisive action in defence, Costa is the man Juve have come to rely on. Heavily defended against, his unpredictability motivated Juve, dribbling, crossing and of course striking with accuracy.
FW Mario Mandzukic, 6 — He will always be recognised as the fighter on the pitch who is (usually) dangerous in the air but didn’t have enough to prove decisive on the attack. Missed a great chance.
FW Federico Bernardeschi, N/A — Only had five touches but positioned himself well.
FW Gonzalo Higuain, N/A — Came on when the celebrations had already started, even if he is always determined to contribute.
MF Claudio Marchisio, N/A — Only came on for a few minutes.
Mina Rzouki covers Juventus and the Italian national team for ESPN FC. Follow her on Twitter: @Minarzouki.