In­ter the cup as Mi­lan, Roma look to reach semi­fi­nals

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

ROME: In­ter Mi­lan host Lazio tonight and Roma take on sec­ond-di­vi­sion Ce­sena a day later to com­plete the quar­ter-fi­nal pro­gramme of the Ital­ian Cup.

In­ter are buoy­ant af­ter a sev­enth straight win in Serie A ac­tion and moved into fourth place past Lazio, who lost 1-0 at home to Chievo.

The Ner­az­zurri beat bot­tom side Pescara 3-0 and are al­ready look­ing ahead to the next league match at league lead­ers Ju­ven­tus on Sun­day, while at the same time not un­der­valu­ing the cup.

“Be­fore Ju­ven­tus we have an­other mas­sively im­por­tant game against Lazio, so we’ll put ev­ery­thing into that,” said full-back Danilo D’Am­bro­sio, who opened the scor­ing against Pescara.

Lazio coach Si­mone In­za­ghi, mean­while, tried to look past the home de­feat marked by count­less missed chances from his squad.

“I told my lads to look ahead and be proud of their per­for­mance,” In­za­ghi said. “(Tonight) it will be a cru­cial one-leg game; we will pre­pare it care­fully.

“Luck was against us, but things will be dif­fer­ent next time and we will win.”

The win­ners from the Giuseppe Meazza match are likely to tackle Roma in the two-leg semi-fi­nals set for March 1 and April 5.

The Rome Gial­lorossi lost 3-2 at Sam­p­do­ria on Sun­day but should have no prob­lems to­mor­row against Ce­sena, who sit in the lower reaches of the Serie B.

A cup vic­tory could boost the sec­ond-placed club for the up­com­ing league tasks, with de­fender Bruno Peres up­beat they can still fight for the Serie A ti­tle.

“We hope to bounce back as quickly as pos­si­ble,” he said. “Let’s keep our heads up; there are a lot of fix­tures to go and we need to try and close the gap on Ju­ven­tus again.”

Ce­sena, mean­while, have no il­lu­sions of the dif­fi­culty of the task they face against against Roma.

“We are aware of the tech­ni­cal gap to Roma, a team fight­ing for the league ti­tle while we are fight­ing for sal­va­tion in the Serie B. But we will face the game in the best pos­si­ble way,” de­fender Francesco Ren­zetti said af­ter a week­end 2-2 draw with As­coli.

Hold­ers Juve, who seek an un­prece­dented third straight tro­phy, and Napoli are al­ready qual­i­fied for the semis. The fi­nal is set for June 2 in Rome. – dpa

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