And then there were four. Juventus led by a very youthful squad of backups easily handled Spal 4-0 in the Quarterfinals of the Coppa Italia and will face Inter in the Semi Finals.
Teenagers Radu Dragusin and debutant Nicolò Fagioli came in, with Dejan Kulusevski and Alvaro Morata forming a new partnership upfront. Matthijs de Ligt made his first start since contracting COVID and Gigi Buffon started the day before his 43rd birthday. SPAL were the only remaining Serie B side in the Coppa, having eliminated Crotone and Sassuolo.
Gianluca Frabotta’s angled drive flashed wide and Morata’s powerful strike tested Etrit Berisha at the near post, but the deadlock was broken when Francesco Vicari caught Adrien Rabiot, who had originally been booked for simulation. VAR shows although perhaps the Frenchman was looking for the contact, it was still a foul and Morata converted the spot-kick.
Kulusevski’s effort was smothered, while Morata and Aaron Ramsey scuffed their finishes in the same move.
The second goal was created by Kulusevski, who turned Luca Ranieri inside out, pulled back to the edge of the box for a Gianluca Frabotta rocket. It was his first senior goal for Juventus.
Sergio Floccari drilled wide following a Merih Demiral error, then Demiral showed good strength to hold off Demba Seck in the box.
Federico Bernardeschi went off with an ankle injury at half-time, so Alessandro Di Pardo made his senior Juventus debut.
Kulusevski tested Berisha from a tricky angle, then Aaron Ramsey couldn’t get the final touch to a Frabotta ball across the face of goal.
SPAL threatened too, as Lorenzo Dickmann hit a ferocious volley from the edge of the area on a corner, charged down by Rabiot.
Aaron Ramsey also failed to make the most of a good counter and Morata had penalty appeals waved away, as there were stud marks on his ankle, but the collision on a corner seemed accidental.
Demba Seck blasted wide from the edge of the box, but Enrico Brignola was offside in the build-up anyway.
Juve started to take their foot off the gas and SPAL forced a Buffon save with Mattia Valoti.
Rabiot drilled inches off target and Kulusevski completed the rout, firing in after Federico Chiesa pounced on a terrible Nenad Tomovic error.
Chiesa came inches away from a goal himself, the curler skimming the far post. He did get it with the last kick of the game, literally walking the ball into the net after pouncing on a rebound from Cosimo Da Graca's effort.