Juventus won a second-successive double when substitute Alvaro Morata’s extra-time goal gave them a 1-0 win over AC Milan in the Italian Cup final on Saturday, as their dejected opponents missed out on Europe for a third successive season.
Juve’s win also meant that tiny Sassuolo, who have completed only three seasons in the top flight since making their Serie A debut in 2013-14, qualified for Europe for the first time.
Milan, who finished seventh in Serie A after another dismal season, surprisingly looked the more dangerous team at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico but failed to take their chances.
Juventus, Serie A champions for the last five seasons, snatched the win 10 minutes from the end of extra-time when Morata swept the ball home to finish off a counter-attack which started deep in the Juve half.
Meanwhile, several thousand fans gathered in the main square of Sassuolo which, with a population of around 40,000, is the smallest town ever to be represented in Serie A.
Sassuolo finished sixth in Serie A, the highest-placed team outside the automatic European berths, and took Juve’s place in the Europa League.
Milan created all the best chances in the first half but failed to take any of them, with Giacomo Bonaventura and Andrea Poli the biggest culprits.
Both teams were more dangerous in the second half although Juventus had the best chance when Gianluigi Donnarumma, Milan’s 17-year-old goalkeeper, parried a deflected Paul Pogba shot.
Morata made an instant impact after replacing Hernanes in the 108th minute and Milan never looked like clawing back the deficit once they had fallen behind.