Gianluca Frabotta scored his first senior goal as Juventus eased into a Coppa Italia semi-final tie against Inter with a comfortable 4-0 win over second-tier SPAL at Allianz Stadium.
Alvaro Morata scored his first penalty for Juve since February 2016 to put last season’s runners up, without the rested Cristiano Ronaldo, ahead in the opening stages.
Frabotta’s strike was the highlight, however – his wonderful finish handing Andrea Pirlo’s team complete control.
Aaron Ramsey squandered two good chances to add to Juve’s lead, though it was an error in the SPAL defence which enabled Dejan Kulusevski and Federico Chiesa to wrap things up.
Frabotta lashed a low effort across the face of goal as Juve hunted an early opener, and it duly came in the 16th minute.
Adrien Rabiot was booked for simulation after he went down under Francesco Vicari’s challenge, yet the referee changed his decision after consulting VAR, and Morata sent Etrit Berisha the wrong way from 12 yards.
20 – Álvaro #Morata is one among the four players currently in Serie A to have been involved in 20+ goals this season in all competitions (13 goals and seven assists), alongside Cristiano #Ronaldo, Romelu #Lukaku and Ciro #Immobile. Star.#JuveSPAL pic.twitter.com/9kp2O7qNEK
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) January 27, 2021
Morata turned provider eight minutes later, with Kulusevski stinging Berisha’s palms, before Ramsey hit the side netting.
Berisha was picking the ball out of his net again a minute later, though – Frabotta thumping in a brilliant first-time strike from the edge of the area.
SPAL veteran Sergio Floccari had an immediate chance to haul one back, but sliced wide of the left-hand upright.
Frabotta almost turned provider with a wicked cross early in the second half, though Ramsey failed to turn it home.
Ramsey found his route to goal blocked by Berisha prior to the hour, while Kulusevski – who had teed up Frabotta’s goal at the end of an impressive run – continued to run SPAL ragged.
Kulusevski had the goal his performance deserved with 12 minutes remaining, the forward coolly slotting home after Morata had pounced on Nenad Tomovic’s mistake.
And substitute Chiesa added further gloss in the final minute of stoppage time when he rounded Berisha to tuck in.
What does it mean? Derby d’Italia coming up
Juve failed to perform when Inter came to town on January 17, but now have a chance to bite back over two legs, which will take place next month.
Between them, Juve and Inter have won the Coppa Italia 20 times, albeit the Bianconeri have the majority share in that particular aspect, having triumphed on 13 occasions.
Frabotta fires one in
Left-back Frabotta has been a regular under Pirlo this term, with Wednesday’s game his 14th appearance of the season in all competitions, and the 21-year-old took his first senior goal in supremely confident fashion.
It capped a fine individual display as he became the youngest Italian player to score for Juve since Moise Kean in April 2016.
Bernardeschi injury blow
Federico Bernardeschi is still awaiting his first goal of the campaign, with the Italy international having made just six starts in total.
However, his wait might be set to go on, with the former Fiorentina attacker succumbing to a knock and going off at half-time, having failed to register a single attempt or create a chance.
An away trip to Sampdoria is Juve’s next Serie A fixture, on Saturday, while SPAL host Monza in Serie B.
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