New Delhi: Goals from Marco Marchionni, Sebastian Giovinco and Alessandro Del Piero mean Juventus are comfortably through to the Coppa Italia quarter finals as they thumped Catania in Turin.
Pre-match and build up
Juventus and Catania came into this fixture knowing a quarter-final clash with Napoli was up for grabs. Claudio Ranieri decided not to risk a number of stars with Giorgio Chiellini being rested while Sebastian Giovinco was given a starting role.
Walter Zenga made a few changes of his own too as Giuseppe Mascara, who started against Napoli at the weekend was rested. Takayuki Morimoto was not in the squad and Michele Paolucci started from the bench.
Both teams started the game brightly and it was tight early on with the first real chance fell to Giovinco. Good work by Sissoko allowed Del Piero to break and the captain fed the pint-sized striker. Giovinco took on Silvestre on the edge of the box, made space for himself and struck a powerful effort towards goal that forced Bizzarri into making a good save on his near post.
Minutes later the intense start from Juventus paid off as Marco Marchionni gave his side the lead. Paolo De Ceglie's cross was met by Alessandro Del Piero who headed towards goal, Bizzarri made an instinctive save, but he spilled the ball into the path of Marchionni and he smashed the ball into the roof of the net from point-blank range.
Catania tried the instant response with Martinez after Lorenzo Ariaudo's sloppy pass allowed the Sicilians to attack. However, Buffon came to the rescue with a decent save.
Down the other end, Juventus had appeals for a penalty waved on when Amauri was brought down in the box, Giovinco crossed on the follow up and the ball fell to Sissoko but the former Liverpool man wasted his chance though as he hit the ball straight at the 'Keeper.
The Sicilian side were struggling and Juventus were being granted too much freedom and they were finding the way to Catania's area with constant ease.
Chance after chance was being created by the Bianconeri, and it was only down to some poor finishing that the scores stayed the same as the half wore on.
Excellent link-up play between Giovinco and Amauri should have seen the home side extend their advantage. Passes were exchanged between both men and the Brazilian striker laid it on a plate. Giovinco's finish was powerful, but just inches away from hitting the target.
Del Piero twisted and turned both Silvestre and Stovini and smashed a diagonal left-foot shot from the edge of the box across the penalty area, but his effort came back off the inside of the post and Catania were able to clear.
The early talking point for the restart was the referees failure to spot the Catania goalkeeper missing from in between the sticks. Luca Banti blew his whistle as everyone looked baffled. He quickly realised his mistake and ordered another kick off, leaving the players to laugh off the unexpected lapse in concentration.
Giovinco, who was outstanding all night, broke down the left wing to cut a decent pass back to Del Piero. The number 10 set up Marchionni, but his finish was straight at Bizzarri. Minutes later the Sicilian's 'Keeper made a miracle save from Del Piero.
The Juventus dominance continued, but they were unable to double their lead.
Marchionni, Giovinco and Amauri all had clear cut chances however, a good combination of saves and some less than perfect finishing ensured Catania escaped further embarrassment.
It wasn't long before Juventus increased their lead. In a scene which resembled the master and his apprentice, Giovinco played a magnificent one-two with Del Piero who returned the favour and the youngster finished brilliantly. The scoring wasn't over there though.
Del Piero put the game to bed with a stunning finish following Marchionni's hard work down the right. The former Parma man fed the captain and he finished well with a classy left-foot finish which caressed the top-corner.
Catania were never in the game. The Sicilians just couldn't wait for the final whistle. Spark, motivation were not with the players on the night. The Bianconeri were having fun and at times it was target practice.
Teams: Juventus 4-4-2: Buffon, Grygera, Ariaudo, Legrottagle, De Ceglie, Marchionni, Zanetti, Sissoko (Poulsen) , Giovinco (Esposito), Amauri, Del Piero.
Catania 4-3-1-2: Acerbis, Silvestre, Stovini, Silvestri, Sardo, Ledesma, Biaginati, Tedesco (Izco), Dica (Sabato), Plasmati(Paolucci) Martinez.
Goals: Marchionni (Juventus), Giovinco (Juventus), Del Piero(Juventus)
Cards: Sardo (Yellow/Catania), Ledesma (Yellow/Catania), Zanetti (Yellow/Juventus)