EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

Treble-chasing Juventus win record third successive Italian Cup

Dani Alves and Leonardo Bonucci score a goal apiece in the 2-0 victory over Lazio.

Dani Alves and Leonardo Bonucci struck one apiece as treble-chasing Juventus secured a record third successive Italian Cup with a 2-0 victory over Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday.

Juventus, who won a league and Cup double the past two seasons, can clinch a record sixth consecutive Serie A title – and a record third double – with victory at home to Crotone on Sunday.

Massimiliano Allegri’s men also face Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Cardiff on June 3 and on this showing the Spanish giants will have cause for concern.

Days after seeing their title celebrations put on hold at the Stadio Olimpico following a 3-1 defeat to Lazio’s city rivals Roma, Juventus were back their formidable best.

And Allegri said he expects more of the same on Sunday.

“This win has given us a boost for Sunday. We absolutely have to wrap up the championship,” said Allegri.

“The lads delivered a great technical and defensive performance that has more than made up for last week against Roma.”

Bonucci said: “Sunday is another final for us. We have to secure our second objective of the season, then we’ll all start looking to Cardiff.”

Lazio, whose last trophy came from their 2013 Cup triumph, had hoped to emulate Roma by sending Juventus back to Turin with their tails between their legs.

But despite a battling display by Simone Inzaghi’s men, Lazio spurned their few chances, and were outplayed by the slick, passing play inspired by Argentinian playmaker Paulo Dybala.

Inzaghi refused to fault his players, saying: “There’s some bitterness, but we came up against a top Juve side.

“I’m sorry we haven’t given joy to the fans and the players, but we have to look positively at our season.

“We’ve qualified for the Europa League with three games to spare and, apart from that, reaching the final is the best thing we’ve done this season.”

The sizeable Lazio support were given hope in the opening minutes when Keita Balde saw his shot from a tight angle, which evaded ‘keeper Norberto Neto, come off the post.

The scare was enough to jolt Juve into life.

Acrobatic Save

Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain, who went on to spurn several chances to add to Juve’s tally, controlled well outside the area and unleashed a volley that Thomas Strakosha did well to block.

Strakosha pulled off an acrobatic save out the bag to stop Paulo Dybala’s long-range effort, the first of many in a performance that underlined the 22-year-old Albanian’s talents.

On the quarter-hour, Lazio piled on the pressure, but when Balde’s cross into the area went awry it sent Juventus on a quick counter that left the capital side exposed.

Strakosha palmed Dybala’s ferocious strike to safety, and when it fell to Higuain three yards out he kept the Argentina striker’s effort out with his legs.

When Lazio were caught deep in Juve territory soon after, it exacted a heavier toll.

Dybala struck the corner, Alex Sandro flicked on towards the near post and Bonucci had an easy job tapping past Strakosha from close range.

-

Minutes before the interval, play was waved on when Thomas Rincon was left injured in midfield, and it almost paid off for Lazio when Ciro Immobile sent a header inches past Neto’s upright.

Juve resumed in similar fashion, a combination of vertical passes between Dybala and Higuain sending Mario Mandzukic through until the big Croatian came down under a challenge from Wallace.

Inzaghi tinkered when he replaced Angolan defender Bastos with Brazilian forward Felipe Anderson, who only seconds later forced a great parry from Neto following an angled snap shot.

Anderson was involved again when Lazio edged even closer, collecting Dusan Basta’s smart ball to cross for Immobile at the back post.

The striker rode on Chiellini’s back to get his head to the ball, which came off the defender and was somehow kept out by an alert Neto.

Juve should have had more, but Dutch defender Stefan De Vrij did well to stop Dybala and Higuain spurned two great chances late on to get his name on the scoresheet.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

When did we start parenting our parents?

As our parents grow older, our ‘adulting’ skills are tested like never before.

From answering every homework question to killing every monster under the bed, from soothing every wound with care to crushing anxiety by just the sound of their voice - parents understandably seemed like invincible, know-it-all superheroes all our childhood. It’s no wonder then that reality hits all of a sudden, the first time a parent falls and suffers a slip disc, or wears a thick pair of spectacles to read a restaurant menu - our parents are growing old, and older. It’s a slow process as our parents turn from superheroes to...human.

And just as slow to evolve are the dynamics of our relationship with them. Once upon a time, a peck on the cheek was a frequent ritual. As were handmade birthday cards every year from the artistically inclined, or declaring parents as ‘My Hero’ in school essays. Every parent-child duo could boast of an affectionate ritual - movie nights, cooking Sundays, reading favourite books together etc. The changed dynamic is indeed the most visible in the way we express our affection.

The affection is now expressed in more mature, more subtle ways - ways that mimics that of our own parents’ a lot. When did we start parenting our parents? Was it the first time we offered to foot the electricity bill, or drove them to the doctor, or dragged them along on a much-needed morning walk? Little did we know those innocent acts were but a start of a gradual role reversal.

In adulthood, children’s affection for their parents takes on a sense of responsibility. It includes everything from teaching them how to use smartphones effectively and contributing to family finances to tracking doctor’s appointments and ensuring medicine compliance. Worry and concern, though evidence of love, tend to largely replace old-fashioned patterns of affection between parents and children as the latter grow up.

It’s something that can be easily rectified, though. Start at the simplest - the old-fashioned peck on the cheek. When was the last time you gave your mom or dad a peck on the cheek like a spontaneous five-year-old - for no reason at all? Young parents can take their own children’s behaviour available as inspiration.

As young parents come to understand the responsibilities associated with caring for their parents, they also come to realise that they wouldn’t want their children to go through the same challenges. Creating a safe and secure environment for your family can help you strike a balance between the loving child in you and the caring, responsible adult that you are. A good life insurance plan can help families deal with unforeseen health crises by providing protection against financial loss. Having assurance of a measure of financial security for family can help ease financial tensions considerably, leaving you to focus on being a caring, affectionate child. Moreover,you can eliminate some of the worry for your children when they grow up – as the video below shows.

Play

To learn more about life insurance plans available for your family, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of SBI Life and not by the Scroll editorial team.