Lukaku-mania as Inter forward rescues game, gets sent off in Juventus draw

Lukaku-mania as Inter forward rescues game, gets sent off in Juventus draw

Ayoola Kelechi 22:08 - 04.04.2023

Lukaku and Cuadrado both scored and got sent off in a dramatic draw in the Coppa Italia

An eventful cameo from Inter's Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku ensured that he would dominate headlines after he played the roles of hero and villain in the Nerazzuri's 1-1 Copa Italia semifnal first-leg draw against Juventus. 

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Lukaku came on in the 69th minute for Inter and scored a 95th-minute equaliser from the spot, before getting sent off for a second yellow card after an altercation with Juve defender Juan Cuadrado during his celebrations. 

Juventus had taken the lead through a late goal of their own as Cuadrado opened the scoring in the 83rd minute, but they were pegged back by Lukaku's late goal which sparked a brawl that saw both goalscorers sent off. 

Inter ended the match with nine men after goalkeeper Samir Handanovic was also given his marching orders in the dramatic finish to the semifinal

How it happened

In a game filled with drama, it was Inter who took the early initiative and threatened through forward Lautaro Martinez and midfielder Federico Dimarco, the latter of whom tested Mattia Perin in goal for Juventus with a stinging freekick. 

With both sides making the changes ahead of the tie, the game lacked any real flow, apart from moments of brilliance from both sides that threatened to break the deadlock in the first half. 

Despite the best efforts of Juventus' Dusan Vlahovic and Inter's DiMarco, the first half ended goalless and the game would not see a goal until late in the second half. 

Missed chances from DiMarco and Arkadiusz Milik gave the impression that the game would end goalless, until Juan Cuadrado scored what he thought would be the winner in the 83rd minute.

However, Inter substitute Romelu Lukaku rescued the game in the fifth minute of extra time with a confident penalty after Juventus defender Bremer had been penalised for a handball in the box. 

In a bizarre series of events at the end of the game, Romelu Lukaku was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for his celebration where he shushed the Juve fans who had been taunting him before his decisive penalty. 

Juventus goalscorer Cuadrado was also sent off after a confrontation with Lukaku and Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic also received his marching orders in the ensuing melee.