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‘Friendly fire’ gives Juventus victory over Fiorentina in Coppa Italia semi-final first leg

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Lorenzo Venotti scored an own goal in stoppage time to give Juventus a 1-0 win over Fiorentina in the first leg of the Italian Cup semi-final on Wednesday.

Dusan Vlahovic could not make his mark on his first return to the stadium of his former club, from which he moved to Juventus in January, and fans booed him every time he touched the ball.

Fiorentina was the better party in the first half, and Jonathan Eikon hit the ball wide, while Vlahovic disappeared despite the large spaces.

Vlahovic had the most dangerous opportunity in the second half, but he failed to put the ball over goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano.

Fiorentina seemed the closest to snatching the victory before the return match in Turin next month, and Akon hit the post before Juventus punished its host.

Juan Cuadrado crossed to Vlahovic but Venotti was quicker to reach the ball and hit his knee into the goal to give Juventus an undeserved victory.

“He (Vlahovic) has to improve his playing style with the team and tonight he cooperated well with his teammates,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri told Mediaset.

“Winning in Florence was not easy due to the absence of many players (through injury). We showed evidence of maturity.”

“We are slowly improving and the team is finding more confidence,” he added.

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