COPPA ITALIA

Pirlo thrilled after Juventus hold Inter to advance to Coppa final

Juventus took a pragmatic path to the final of the Coppa Italia against Inter Milan and Andrea Pirlo welcomed comparisons to Massimiliano Allegri.

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Call me 'Allegriano' - Pirlo delight after shutting down Inter

Andrea Pirlo was happy to go back to the future to seal a place in the Coppa Italia final for Juventus at Inter Milan's expense. Juventus played out a 0-0 draw in Tuesday's semi-final second leg, meaning Cristiano Ronaldo's double in the 2-1 win at San Siro last week proved decisive.

Pirlo has tried to bring in an expansive passing style at Juve this season with mixed results, but the sight of black and white shirts soaking up pressure with ease in front of Gianluigi Buffon evoked memories of the years under former bosses Massimiliano Allegri and Antonio Conte - the latter now cutting  a frustrated figure in the Inter dugout.

"It's very nice," Pirlo told Rai Sports of the comparison. "If I have to win what he won, you can also call me Allegriano. We were very good, they practically didn't have a shot on goal."

Cristiano denied by Handanovic

Pirlo hailed Samir Handanovic as the best player on the field and the Inter goalkeeper made a couple of stunning second-half saves to thwart Ronaldo. A final awaits against Atalanta or Napoli, who Juve beat in the Supercoppa Italiana to claim the first piece of silverware of Pirlo's embryonic coaching career.

"It was in my plans to win the Supercoppa and get to the Coppa final, but there is work to be done," he added. "As a coach it is completely different. We are satisfied so far but we have not done anything yet."

Juve have reached the Coppa Italia final in six of the last seven seasons, failing to do so only in 2018-19. Pirlo's Juve are unbeaten in 11 of their 12 games since the start of 2021 in all competitions, having won 10 of those matches (D1).  Meanwhile, Juventus are unbeaten in nine of their last 10 matches against Inter in all competitions, winning six games (D3).