Juventus 1-1 Inter Milan: Lukaku rescues point in chaotic ending

Coppa Italia CHAOS as Romelu Lukaku is sent off after equalising for Inter Milan at Juventus with 95th-minute penalty in semi-final first leg… before Juan Cuadrado and Samir Handanovic also see red following post-match brawl

  • Juventus and Inter Milan played out a cautious game which came alive late on
  • Juan Cuadrado thought he scored a vital goal in their Coppa Italia clash 
  • Romelu Lukaku though scored a stoppage time equaliser before he was sent off

Juventus and Inter Milan shared the spoils in an energetic 1-1 Coppa Italia semi-final first-leg draw on Tuesday, after a stoppage-time penalty by Romelu Lukaku cancelled out a late goal by Juve midfielder Juan Cuadrado.

Juventus could have gone ahead through Angel Di Maria in the fourth minute but Inter keeper Samir Handanovic tipped away his low shot from the edge of the box.

Inter, who could have scored in the 33rd minute when Marcelo Brozovic’s shot was saved by Juve keeper Mattia Perin, dominated possession in a lively first half.

Shortly after the break Juventus forward Dusan Vlahovic tried to surprise Handanovic with a close-range header from a stunning, lofted pass by Nicolo Fagioli but the attempt by Serbia forward went just over the bar.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan could have made it 1-0 for the visitors in the 64th minute with a powerful low shot towards the far post but he missed the target by centimetres.

Romelu Lukaku was the penalty hero for Inter Milan as he salvaged a draw against Juventus

The Belgian striker though was then shown a second yellow card moments after his goal as his celebrations were believed to be ‘provocative’

Juan Cuadrado and Samir Handanovic were then both sent off after the final whistle as a scuffle embroiled between both sets of players

Cuadrado gave the record 14-times winners the lead in the 83rd when he collected a loose ball inside the box and sent it into the bottom left corner after Inter defender Alessandro Bastoni had unsuccessfully tried to clear it off the line.

When it seemed that the game would end with a first-leg advantage for the home side, a handball by Juventus defender Gleison Bremer gifted the visitors a spot kick, flawlessly executed by Lukaku who sent Perin the wrong way.

The Belgian striker’s celebration in front of the Juve fans was judged to be provocative and he was sent off after a second yellow card, while Inter captain Handanovic and Cuadrado also got red cards immediately after the final whistle.

“Tonight I saw the boys very angry about this draw but we have to be good at accepting it,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri told Mediaset.

“In the first half we were a little too slow. When they had the ball we waited for them; in the second half we applied more pressure.”

Cremonese host Fiorentina in the second semi-final on Wednesday. The second-leg games will be played on April 26 and 27

Juventus thought they had taken the victory after Cuadrado’s 83rd minute strike

But Inter got a stoppage time penalty which on-loan striker Lukaku tucked away expertly

Lukaku has had a frustrating return to Inter Milan but his goal could prove crucial in the top-four race

The result didn’t do much to alleviate the crisis at Inter, who has lost three straight matches in Serie A.

The outcome of the semi-final and Inter’s upcoming Champions League quarter-final against Benfica could be crucial in determining whether Simone Inzaghi stays on as Inter’s coach.

Inter beat Juventus 4-2 after extra time in last year’s final to win its eighth Italian Cup but Juventus has had the upper hand in the derby d’Italia this season, beating Inter twice in Serie A – including a 1-0 victory little more than two weeks ago.

While both teams had a few close chances, the match appeared headed for a 0-0 draw until Cuadrado was left virtually unmarked to score with a long shot in the 83rd minute. The Colombian then celebrated with an intricate dance.

Juventus defender Gleison Bremer was penalized for a handball to set up Inter’s penalty, after which Lukaku held his finger to his lips as if to silence the crowd.

The ugly ending to the match sets the second leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final up perfectly

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