Despite an encouraging performance from the Rossoneri, it was Juventus triumphed in the Coppa Italia, lifting the trophy for the second season in a row in front of a sold out crowd at the Stadio Olimpico. It was a close match and one that was admittedly short on quality despite the abundance of talent on the pitch. Milan enjoyed dominance for the most part, controlling possession and carving out a number of chances, but they were sadly unable to convert any of them. Ultimately on the night however, the final ball just wasn't there for Il Diavolo, with Juventus snatching a win in extra time.
Milan started well with Giacomo Bonaventura latching on to an excellent cross from Davide Calabria, only to send it wide of the post. Calabria proved to be a constant threat down the right hand side, continually sending crosses into the box and troubling Patrice Evra. Shortly after, Juraj Kucka layed the ball off to Andrea Poli on the edge of the box, only for the industrious midfielder to blast it carelessly over the bar. For much of the first half, Milan played with an energy and enthusiasm that exceeded that of the Bianconeri, providing a constant barrage of goalscoring opportunities.
The second half proved to be much the same as Milan outplayed an out of sorts Juventus team, who didn't really turn up until very late on in the match. Carlos Bacca almost managed to grab a winner for Milan, but could only send his header toppling over the crossbar. The introduction of M'Baye Niang (in his first start since February) failed to provide the finishing touch the Rossoneri needed as they continued to spurn chance after chance. Juventus almost punished their profligacy as Stephan Lichsteiner drove a low cross along the edge of the six yard box, however Gianluigi Donnarumma was able to palm it away before Mario Mandzukic could get a shot away.
With neither side able to break the dead-lock, the match went to extra time. Things continued in the same vein for the next twenty minutes and the match opened up a bit as time passed. Milan continued to pile on the pressure, however it will all be for naught. The late substitute Alvaro Morata, unmarked in the box, powered a shot low and hard into the bottom corner, sealing a late winning goal for the Bianconeri. Milan rallied, putting more pressure on Juventus as the match drew to a close, however they were unable to find a winning goal.
This match didn't really provide the kind of spectacle that would normally be expected of a cup final and was desperately short on quality in the final third, however ultimately the champions showed their class despite a mediocre performance. Milan played well for large chunks of the match, but their wastefulness in front of goal ultimately cost them the final. The supporters really got behind the team and in all honesty few would have expected such an assured performance from the Rossoneri against the best team in Italy.
Unfortunately though, Milan will miss out on a much needed trophy, but on European football as well. This result means that Sassuolo will gain the final Europa League spot due to their sixth place finish in Serie A, compounding the misery of Milanisti everywhere.
A heartbreaking end to a disappointing campaign. We can only hope that the team uses this disappointment to rebound next season -- but we've got a very long summer to get through between now and then.