NEWS
Wednesday April 17 2013
Coppa: Roma take out Inter

Roma pushed past Inter 3-2 at San Siro with a Mattia Destro brace and Vasilis Torosidis stunner to set up a Coppa Italia Final against Lazio.

The Aquile had already qualified for the Final on May 26 at the Stadio Olimpico, but for Inter it’s another setback in a disastrous campaign.

The Giallorossi had won the first leg 2-1 on January 23, when Zdenek Zeman was still on the bench. Pablo Daniel Osvaldo and Nicolas Burdisso are suspended and Miralem Pjanic only fit for the bench, so Mattia Destro stepped in and Daniele De Rossi shook off an ankle injury. Inter were decimated, missing Antonio Cassano, Rodrigo Palacio, Diego Milito, Walter Gargano, Yuto Nagatomo, Dejan Stankovic and more, plus the suspended Alvaro Pereira and Fredy Guarin.

Esteban Cambiasso was named in the starting XI, but pulled out during the warm-up to make way for Jonathan.

Within the first two minutes Samir Handanovic had to flap an Alessandro Florenzi assist off the feet of Marquinho in the six-yard box.

Ricky Alvarez drilled wide, then dribbled into the area for Marquinho to shepherd him out for a corner.

Inter took the lead with a fantastic goal from Jonathan, the man who wasn’t meant to be in the starting XI. He surged forward from midfield, completed a give-and-go with Alvarez, then another with Rocchi before prodding a snooker shot finish into the far bottom corner.

This strike made it 2-2 on aggregate with Inter in front on away goals. It was almost another when Maarten Stekelenburg smothered Rocchi’s flick from close range, then Mateo Kovacic sent Jonathan through and his shot was deflected into the path of Ezequiel Schelotto.

A Marquinhos screamer took a deflection off Walter Samuel to whistle just wide with Handanovic stranded. Moments later, a corner was flicked on for the unmarked Destro at the back post, Handanovic rushing off his line to charge down from point-blank range.

Juan Jesus flashed an angled drive across the face of goal, but just before the break Handanovic stuck out a hand to turn the Florenzi strike round the far upright when it looked certain to draw Roma level from 10 yards.

Federico Balzaretti replaced Florenzi for the second half and within 90 seconds Francesco Totti blasted just wide from the edge of the box. Erik Lamela flicked it to Vasilis Torosidis completely unmarked from the outside edge of the six-yard area, but it bounced awkwardly and by the time he got the shot away Samuel had flung himself in its path.

The pressure was building and Roma drew level moments later. Destro sprung the offside trap from a smart Lamela through ball and kept his cool to dink it over the on-rushing Handanovic. Samuel desperately tried to get back for a goalline clearance, but was unable to keep it out.

Inter had a great opportunity that went begging, as Rocchi failed to read the smart flick, but the move continued for a Roma counter-attack. Balzaretti rolled across for the totally unmarked Destro to tap in at the back stick, as the Nerazzurri defence was totally static.

Roma finished it off with a stunner from Torosidis, who burst down the right, let it bounce between three Inter jerseys and smashed it on the volley into the far top corner with a magnificent strike.

Alvarez got one back from the edge of the box, cutting in from the right and his shot taking a deflection to wrong-foot Stekelenburg.

Kovacic fired wide from distance, but Totti could’ve added a fourth on the counter from Dodo’s cross-field pass, the angled drive whistling just past the far post. Dodo ran on to a quickly-taken free kick to test Handanovic from close range.

Inter 2-3 Roma (3-5 on agg)

Scorers: Jonathan 22 (I), Destro 55, 69 (R), Torosidis 74 (R), Alvarez 80 (I)

Inter: Handanovic; Zanetti, Ranocchia (Belloni 86), Samuel, Juan Jesus; Jonathan, Kovacic, Kuzmanovic (Forte 73), Schelotto (Benassi 64); Alvarez, Rocchi

Roma: Stekelenburg; Torosidis, Marquinhos, Castan, Marquinho; Bradley, De Rossi, Florenzi (Balzaretti 46); Lamela (Taddei 76), Totti; Destro (Dodo’ 70)

Ref: Bergonzi

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