Dusan Vlahovic was kept at bay by old club Fiorentina but Juventus claimed a dramatic late 1-0 win in the first leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final.
Emotions were high as Vlahovic made his return to Florence following his January transfer for an initial fee of €70million, the Serbian talisman frequently whistled by a raucous home crowd.
The noise at the Stadio Artemio Franchi inspired Fiorentina, who were the better side throughout a pulsating contest, and they would be taking an advantage to the second leg in Turin had Jonathan Ikone not spurned a pair of gilt-edged chances.
They were ultimately made to pay for their profligacy in stoppage time when Juan Cuadrado’s wicked right-wing delivery cannoned off an unfortunate Lorenzo Venuti and over the line to give Juve the advantage going into next month’s return leg in Turin.
Fiorentina dominated possession in a high-intensity first half and should have made that control count when Ikone burst down the right, only to fire narrowly wide of the left-hand post in the 26th minute.
Three minutes into the second half any lingering frustration Ikone felt would have been heightened as he curled against the frame of the goal after being played through by a delicate throughball from Lucas Torreira.
The hosts continued to pepper the Juve goal, but were almost caught cold by Vlahovic, who latched on to Mattia De Sciglio’s ball and attempted to break the deadlock with a lofted finish to which Pietro Terracciano was equal.
Cristiano Biraghi tested Mattia Perrin with a free-kick from just outside the box and Venuti went close with a long-range drive.
Instead of finding a deserved opener for Fiorentina, Venuti was inconsolable at full-time after inadvertently giving his team’s hated rivals the edge in the 91st minute, putting Juve in the driver’s seat for a place in the final.
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