Campionato Primavera 2012/13: AC Milan advance as Juventus crash out
The quarter-finals of the Campionato Primavera threw up some expected results but with one or two shocks thrown in.
AC Milan and Atalanta, as expected, saw off the challenges that they were presented to reach the final four but neither one of the Turin clubs will meet them there as both surprisingly tumbled out of the tournament.
The first quarter-final saw Lazio take on Torino in the capital but despite the Granata’s illustrious history with their youth side, the current crop could not replicate former glories.
Cristiano Lombardi was the hero for the Biancocelesti in a 1-0 win as they aim to get a measure of revenge for losing in the final last season.
Of his goal, the emotional youngster was all too aware of its importance: “This is the most important goal I scored this year. I feel great emotions.
“I’m having a fantastic year and the performance by the whole team today was great. At the end of the first half we found courage and in the second we pulled out the real Lazio.”
Awaiting them in the semi-finals are Chievo who overcame Juventus after extra time. The Gialloblu took an early lead after Bianconeri goalkeeper Luarentiu Branescu brought down Juri Cisotti inside the box and he scored from the penalty that followed.
Hordur Magnusson drove home his third of the season shortly afterwards to level with a fine strike but in the 108th minute, the Flying Donkeys hit the fronts when Caleb Ekuban curled into the bottom corner.
Atalanta booked their place in the semis with a 4-1 thrashing of Fiorentina as La Dea looked back to their best in Lombardy.
Federico Varano found Davide Cais in space and he rounded the goalkeeper and slotted home to put Atalanta ahead after 19 minutes before Varano got on the scoresheet himself 10 minutes later, jostling the challenge of the Viola defenders aside to volley home.
They had a third before the break when Valerio Nava’s low drive was prodded home by Andrea Conti and a fourth followed after the restart when Nava scored with a terrific solo goal, breaking into the area and firing past Bacci.
Fiorentina did get a consolation when Luzayadio Bangu scored from the spot.
Meeting their Lombard rivals looking for a place in the final are AC Milan after they brushed past high-flying Catania through a lone strike from Bryan Cristante.