Lazio into last eight with 4-1 win

▶ Racist, anti-Semitic chants scar Coppa Italia match

Global Times - - SPORTS -

Lazio were em­broiled in con­tro­versy on Satur­day af­ter racist and anti-Semitic chant­ing which scarred a Coppa Italia tie was dis­missed by the club as a “psy­chosis fo­cus­ing on a mi­nor­ity or nonex­is­tent in­ci­dents.”

Lazio crushed third-divi­sion No­vara 4-1 in their last-16 game at Rome’s Sta­dio Olimpico.

How­ever, their hard-core ul­tra fans aimed a se­ries of ugly barbs at the club’s bit­ter city ri­vals AS Roma, with taunts of “Yel­low, red and Jewish” and “This Roma that looks like Africa.”

They also tar­geted po­lice who clashed with Lazio fans on Wed­nes­day at Pi­azza della Lib­erta in the cap­i­tal when cel­e­bra­tions to mark the club’s 119th an­niver­sary turned vi­o­lent.

Eight po­lice of­fi­cers were in­jured and four sup­port­ers ar­rested.

Lazio spokesman Ar­turo Di­a­conale blasted re­ports of the chant­ing by a small sec­tion of the crowd as “a psy­chosis.”

“I am one of the 98 per­cent of peo­ple in the sta­dium who didn’t hear them,” he said.

“The club nat­u­rally con­demns any racist or an­tiSemitic chants... I think it’s a form of psy­chosis fo­cus­ing on ei­ther a mi­nor­ity or nonex­is­tent in­ci­dents.”

On the pitch, Ciro Im­mo­bile scored a first-half dou­ble, af­ter Luis Al­berto’s 12th-minute opener with Sergej MilinkovicSavic claim­ing the fourth be­fore the break.

Um­berto Eusepi pulled a goal back for No­vara, a thirdtier side based 50 kilo­me­ters west of Mi­lan, from the penalty spot just af­ter the break.

Hold­ers Ju­ven­tus booked their ticket to the quar­ter­fi­nals with a 2-0 win at Bologna, with AC Mi­lan go­ing through by the same score­line af­ter ex­tra time against Sam­p­do­ria.

Ju­ven­tus and AC Mi­lan will meet in the Ital­ian Su­per Cup fi­nal in Saudi Ara­bia on Wed­nes­day.

Cris­tiano Ron­aldo and Paulo Dy­bala started on the bench for the cham­pi­ons with a view to the game in Jed­dah.

Ju­ven­tus eased through with Fed­erico Bernarde­schi open­ing the scor­ing af­ter nine min­utes and Moise Kean adding the sec­ond four min­utes af­ter the break.

In Genoa, Brazil­ian in­ter­na­tional Lu­cas Pa­queta started for Mi­lan af­ter his ar­rival from Fla­mengo in a 35 mil­lion euro ($40 mil­lion) deal, along with want­away Ar­gen­tine Gon­zalo Higuain amid spec­u­la­tion he is about to move to Chelsea.

Higuain thought he had scored but was ruled off­side.

Pa­trick Cutrone came on as a sub­sti­tute in ex­tra time with his two su­perb vol­leys on 102 and 108 min­utes set­ting up a meet­ing for last year’s fi­nal­ists with ei­ther Napoli or Sas­suolo.

“We need to re­gain our en­ergy. It will be a big match and one that can help us with our char­ac­ter, it could be a turn­ing point for us,” said AC Mi­lan coach Gen­naro Gat­tuso of next Wed­nes­day’s game.

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