4 Things We Learned From Juventus' 4-0 Thrashing of AC Milan in the Coppa Italia Final


Juventus won their fourth successive Coppa Italia at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday night, capitalising on two goalkeeping howlers in quick succession to turn what had been a closely-contested final with AC Milan into an embarrassing rout for I Rossoneri .

Milan had been more than a match for the Serie A champions-elect until Medhi Benatia gave Juve the lead, heading home from a corner in the second half. Then 19-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma gifted two quick goals to Juve, and Milan's misery was compounded when Nikola Kalinić netted a late own goal.

Here are four things we learned from Juve's emphatic win on Wednesday night:

1. Milan Are Still a Long Way From Returning to Their Former Glory

Well, we already knew this - but the manner of Wednesday's defeat at the Stadio Olimpico emphasised just how far Milan are from being able to challenge Juventus for Italian football's top prizes.

It was the third major reality check Milan have had since club legend Gennaro Gattuso was appointed as manager in November after the sacking of Vincenzo Montella. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Juve were involved in two of them.

Firstly, I Rossoneri's promising run in the Europa League was brought to a juddering halt in March by Arsenalwho won 5-1 over two legs in the round of 16. Later that same month, Massimiliano Allegri's side ended Milan's superb ten-match unbeaten run in Serie A with a 3-1 win at the Allianz Stadium.

Before that match, which was their first league defeat of 2018, Gattuso's side had picked up 26 points in ten games. Unfortunately, the Juve defeat turned out to be the first of six matches without a win, in which Milan picked up four points and scored just three goals.

Then, of course, there was the Coppa Italia final, in which the chasm between Milan's current status and where they want to be was cruelly laid bare by I Bianconeri.

2. Like His Side, Gianluigi Donnarumma Is Still a Work in Progress

In a way, this should be obvious, as Donnarumma is only 19 years old. Yet he has already made more than 100 appearances for Milan, as well as being capped five times by Italy.

His precocious displays for his club have made it easy to forget just how young he is - he became the youngest player to reach the 100 game threshold for I Rossoneri, as well as becoming the youngest goalkeeper ever to make a senior appearance for the Azzurri.

Unfortunately, on Wednesday night - in arguably the biggest match of his career to date - he made two high-profile errors. As a result of his lapses, a clash which was already a tricky proposition for his side became an impossible job.

It's such a shame for the youngster, as he actually gave a good performance for the rest of the match - including an outstanding save low to his right. Milan and Italy can only hope he'll learn from his mistakes, and that they won't do any lasting damage to his confidence, as he clearly has enormous potential for both club and country.

3. Juventus Carry a Goal Threat Throughout the Side

Milan successfully thwarted Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandžukić, Juve's two most obvious goal threats in the absence of Gonzalo Higuaín - and yet they still shipped four goals in twenty second-half minutes.

Admittedly, few would have expected centre back Medhi Benatia to bag a brace, but his two clinical finishes showed that Juve will usually find a way to score when they need to, even if their forwards can't find the net.

If need be, they'll even make their opponents do the scoring for them, as the luckless Kalinić discovered to his cost.

4. Juventus Are Still Too Strong for Their Serie A Rivals

Despite a late wobble including a 1-0 home defeat by Napoli  which briefly threatened to throw the title race wide open, Juventus have kept their nerve while their rivals have faltered. This is why they will soon have a fourth successive Scudetto and Coppa Italia double to their name.

Admittedly, the margin of victory in Wednesday's final was harsh on Milan, who continued to play with verve and attacking intent even when the match was over as a contest.

Nevertheless, Juve's sheer ruthlessness showed how difficult it's going to be for their rivals to thwart them next season - even with an ageing squad and in the absence of the great Gianluigi Buffon, who had a largely untroubled night at the Stadio Olimpico.