1972/73 COPPA ITALIA

Stadio Olimpico in Rome, 1 July 1973

AC Milan's 1972/73 side liked to attack: the Rossoneri scored 65 goals in 30 matches in the league and 15 goals in nine games in the Cup Winners’ Cup. It was a scintillating and entertaining team which managed to find better defensive balance in cup competitions as opposed to Serie A. This also included the Coppa Italia. Being the then trophy holders, the Diavolo entered the tournament at the final group phase, where they were paired with Atalanta, Napoli and Cagliari. The Rossoneri conceded just once in six matches, with Gigi Riva netting in AC Milan 0-1 Cagliari. Ultimately, that defeat didn’t matter: five wins from five in the other fixtures saw the Diavolo qualify for the final in Rome.

AC Milan v Juventus, the final of the Coppa Italia on 1 July 1973. It was a chance for the Rossoneri to gain revenge after being pipped to the Scudetto title by the Bianconeri, who had emerged victorious in Rome on the same day that the Diavolo had suffered a 5-3 defeat to Verona. Hopes of redemption seemed to be fading following Bettega's goal on the 15-minute mark, but Romeo Benetti managed to draw AC Milan level shortly before half-time. No further goals were scored, leading to extra time and an eventual penalty shootout, during which the Rossoneri netted all five of their spot-kicks. Goalkeeper Villiam Vecchi was amongst the best on the pitch that day.

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