Juventus eyeing more silverware as Sassuolo qualify for Europe

ROME • Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has targeted more honours after the club won a second consecutive double when substitute Alvaro Morata's extra-time goal secured a 1-0 Italian Cup final win over AC Milan.

Juventus, Serie A champions for the last five seasons, snatched the win 10 minutes from the end of extra time when Morata swept the ball home after a counter-attack from deep in their own half.

"Juventus are a club that always want to win every competition," Allegri said. "As such, next season we will aim to win our sixth consecutive title and above all, make a push for the Champions League."

For Milan, the result means that they will miss out on Europe for a third successive season on Saturday. Instead, tiny Sassuolo, who have completed only three seasons in the top flight since making their Serie A debut in 2013-14, qualified for Europe for the first time.

Several thousand fans gathered in the main square of Sassuolo which, with a population of about 40,000 is the smallest town ever represented in the top flight.

Sassuolo finished sixth in the league, the highest-placed team outside the automatic European berths, and took Juve's place in the Europa League.

Milan, who finished seventh in the league after another dismal season, surprisingly looked the more dangerous team at Rome's Stadio Olimpico but failed to take their chances, with Giacomo Bonaventura and Andrea Poli the main culprits.

Cristian Brocchi, Milan's fifth coach in the last three seasons and whose future is uncertain, praised his side's performance, a sharp contrast to his fierce criticism after they lost 1-3 at home to Roma in their final league game.

"Tonight, I saw for the first time a bit of my influence in this team," he said. "I saw the right mindset and right attitude. We were punished by an episode. They have great players, that's football. We didn't deserve to lose and are left with a sense of regret."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2016, with the headline 'Juventus eyeing more silverware as Sassuolo qualify for Europe'. Print Edition | Subscribe