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Dublin: -1°C Thursday 15 April 2021
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Dries Mertens' goal against Juventus is the definition of an instant impact

The Old Lady of Turin booked their place in the Coppa Italia final after last night’s win over Napoli.

GONZALO HIGUAIN SCORED twice against former club Napoli as Juventus booked their place in the final of the Coppa Italia despite losing 3-2 last night.

Juve had a two-goal cushion from February’s first encounter between the sides and the holders progressed 5-4 on aggregate after a thrillingly chaotic cup clash.

Higuain was on target in his side’s 3-1 first-leg win in Turin and, after being approached by a pitch invader armed with a Napoli scarf, he found the bottom-right corner from just outside the box and appeared to celebrate by pointing and shouting angrily at supporters in the stands.

Napoli captain Marek Hamsik prompted hopes of a fightback by finishing off a flowing move early in the second half, but Higuain’s powerful shot quickly restored Juve’s advantage.

Dries Mertens scored 10 seconds after coming on as a substitute and Lorenzo Insigne struck to set up a dramatic finale, but Juve held out to book a final against Lazio as they seek a third straight Coppa title.

Astonishingly, Belgium international Mertens replaced Arkadiusz Milik in the 61st minute and ran straight on to take advantage of a mistake from Juve goalkeeper Neto.

Talk about having an instant impact…

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Ben Blake

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