Cutrone dumps In­ter out of Ital­ian Cup

The New Age (Gauteng) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

MI­LAN teenager Pa­trick Cutrone scored a sen­sa­tional ex­tra-time goal to dump In­ter Mi­lan out of the Ital­ian Cup on Wed­nes­day and book a semi­fi­nal show­down with Lazio.

The 19 year old broke through af­ter 109 min­utes un­der driv­ing rain at the San Siro af­ter the match had ended 0-0 in reg­u­lar time to set up a two­legged semi­fi­nal against the Ro­mans who saw off Fiorentina 1­0 on Tues­day.

The vic­tory was a wel­come relief for new Mi­lan coach Gen­naro Gat­tuso who had likened the clash to “a World Cup fi­nal”.

“To think that I was in Pri­mav­era (Mi­lan’s youth team), now cheer­ing at San Siro with this mag­nif­i­cent crowd is some­thing in­cred­i­ble,” Cutrone who was booked for tak­ing his jer­sey off in the cel­e­bra­tions af­ter scor­ing said.

“I think this vic­tory was ne­c­es­sary for morale, the derby can’t be de­scribed as a nor­mal game, but now we’re en­joy­ing this vic­tory and this shift and from to­mor­row we will think about the chal­lenge against Fiorentina.”

Mi­lan went into the game in 11th place in Serie A, a mas­sive 21 points be­hind league lead­ers Napoli, mean­ing the Ital­ian Cup and the Europa League, where they have made the last 32, are their only av­enues to sil­ver­ware this sea­son.

But it was a third con­sec­u­tive de­feat for In­ter who are third in Serie A, five points off the lead­ers.

Lu­ciano Spal­letti’s In­ter have lost steam fol­low­ing their strong start to the sea­son, al­ready need­ing penal­ties to get past third di­vi­sion Por­de­none in the last round.

Goal­keeper An­to­nio Don­narumma made his se­nior de­but for Mi­lan as younger brother Gian­luigi Don­narumma and Marco Storari were both in­jured.

And the 27 year old, who joined Mi­lan last sum­mer as part of the ne­go­ti­a­tions for the re­newal of his brother’s con­tract, had a bap­tism of fire with the video as­sis­tant ref­eree (VAR) com­ing to his res­cue in the first half as he awk­wardly turned the ball into his own net.

In­ter had more pos­ses­sion in the first half, al­though Mi­lan’s Gi­a­como Bon­aven­tura had a chance to break the dead­lock af­ter 18 min­utes but his header was tipped over the bar by Samir Han­danovic.

Five min­utes later In­ter looked to have pulled ahead af­ter Ivan Perisic knocked back a cor­ner and Don­narumma turned it into his own net, but VAR con­firmed An­drea Ranoc­chia was off­side.

In­ter cap­tain Mauro Icardi’s header flew inches over as Mi­lan’s Lu­cas Biglia blasted off tar­get when un­marked on the edge of the box from a cor­ner.

And Joao Mario missed the chance to fin­ish off an Icardi cross af­ter an hour at the San Siro as Don­narumma saved and the Mi­lan goalie proved ef­fi­cient, also clear­ing a Perisic strike and An­to­nio Can­dreva’s close range ef­fort.

But as the match headed into ex­tra time it was to be Cutrone’s night as he broke through the In­ter de­fence fin­ish­ing off a Suso cross which left Han­danovic with no chance, to keep Mi­lan on track for their sixth Ital­ian Cup ti­tle and first since 2003.

The re­main­ing quar­ter­fi­nals be­tween Napoli and Ata­lanta and Ju­ven­tus at home to city ri­vals Torino will be played at the start of next month. – AFP

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