Juventus 1-0 Lazio: Bremer sends embattled Bianconeri to Coppa Italia semi-finals
Juventus cast aside their recent woes to tee up an enticing Coppa Italia semi-final against Inter on Thursday as Gleison Bremer's first-half header guided them to a 1-0 win against Lazio.
The Coppa Italia appears to represent Juve's best chance of silverware this season after a 15-point deduction ended their slim Serie A title hopes, and the hosts were good value for their win after dominating for long periods.
Massimiliano Allegri's men missed two good chances before hitting the front on the stroke of half-time, with Bremer flicking Filip Kostic's inch-perfect delivery home.
Juve were rarely troubled at the other end as Maurizio Sarri's visitors disappointed in the final third, and they will face their Derby d'Italia rivals across two legs in the last four after this routine win.
Kostic drew a fingertip save from Luis Maximiano as Juve got on top after a tight opening to the contest, before Adrien Rabiot headed straight at the goalkeeper when left unmarked just before the half-hour mark.
The Bianconeri made their pressure count one minute before the break as Bremer met Kostic's inswinging cross with a glancing header, which beat Maximiano to nestle in the bottom-left corner.
Luis Alberto saw a long-range strike deflect narrowly over as Lazio improved following the half-time introduction of Pedro, while Danilo Cataldi worked Mattia Perin with a 25-yard free-kick.
Juve substitute Moise Kean forced Maximiano into action at his near post following a rapid break with 20 minutes remaining, as the hosts looked to put the game to bed.
Adam Marusic fizzed a long-range effort wide of the bottom-right corner as Lazio continued to hunt a leveller, but that was as close as they came to breaking down a resolute Juve backline.
What does it mean? Coppa Italia specialists stay in the hunt
Juventus were already struggling to match the fierce pace set by Scudetto favourites Napoli before an investigation into their historic transfer dealings resulted in a 15-point deduction, putting the Coppa Italia front and centre of their bid to avoid back-to-back campaigns without a trophy.
The Bianconeri, who have won five of the last eight editions of the Coppa Italia, have now only failed to reach the competition's semi-finals once in the last nine seasons.
Bremer blunts Lazio attack
Bremer's well-taken header was the difference as Juventus edged out their in-form visitors, who arrived in Turin having enjoyed a five-game unbeaten run.
The Brazilian also played his part at the back as Lazio were limited to one shot on target and 0.47 xG (expected goals), making a game-high six clearances.
Kostic the catalyst
He has had a tough start to life at Juve but Kostic teed up their winner with a fantastic inswinging ball from the right, and the Serbia international was a key creative outlet in a tight affair.
The left wing-back managed a game-high 10 crosses and created four chances throughout the match – none of his team-mates managed more than two, with Federico Chiesa in second.
Juventus travel to Salernitana for their next game in Serie A on Tuesday, while Lazio go to Verona a day earlier.