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Coppa Italia delicately poised

Juventus FC narrowly beat Parma AC 2-1 in the first leg of an exciting Coppa Italia final.

Juventus FC beat Parma AC 2-1 in the first leg of the Coppa Italia final at the Delle Alpi stadium in Turin tonight.

Exciting game
An exciting game was always heading in the Bianconeri's favour after Nicola Amoruso's sixth-minute penalty. But with a home leg still to come and an away goal under their belts, Parma can still salvage the tie.

Several stars rested
Juventus are more focused on winning Serie A than the national cup competition, and as a consequence left Alessandro Del Piero, Gianluigi Buffon and David Trezeguet on the bench - though they were still able to name a side brimming with international talent. Marco Di Vaio and Fabio Cannavaro were missing for Parma while Claudio Taffarel was handed a rare start in goal.

Appetite for silverware
Win or lose, Parma had already secured a place in next season's UEFA Cup by reaching the final, but that did not seem to diminish their appetite for some silverware as compensation for a disappointing campaign.

Under attack
Nevertheless, in the early stages the visitors found themselves under almost constant attack from the hosts and when Marcelo Zalayeta was brought down inside the box by Alain Boghossian referee Pierluigi Collina had no hesitation in awarding Juventus a penalty which Amoruso converted.

Carini save
As the half progressed, Parma came out of their shell and attempted to retrieve the deficit, with Boghossian drawing an excellent save out of Fabian Carini. After the interval, Juventus scored a potentially decisive second goal on 57 minutes when Uruguayan Marcelo Zalayeta headed a Michele Paramatti cross past Taffarel.

Volleyed goal
However Parma refused to be downhearted and clawed a goal back in stoppage time when Japanese international Hidetoshi Nakata volleyed into the net from Marco Marchionni's cross. The second leg will take place at the Ennio Tardini stadium on 11 May.