Inter swept Genoa aside 2-1 with Douglas Maicon and Andrea Poli, so they’ll face Napoli in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals.
Sneijder made his comeback for a few minutes in Sunday’s 1-0 derby victory, but got his first start since early November as support for lone striker Luc Castaignos, who is expected to leave this month. Meanwhile, Genoa missed most of their star names for this Round of 16 trip and had new signing Giuseppe Sculli on the bench, but did play Juraj Kucka, who is co-owned by the Nerazzurri.
It took just eight minutes for Inter to break the deadlock and Douglas Maicon very nearly broke the net with a blockbuster of a right-footed strike from 20 yards that flew into the far top corner.
More bad news for the visitors, who lost Marco Rossi to a muscular problem, making way for Kevin Constant.
Cristiano Lupatelli got down to palm a Sneijder snapshot off the line, while substitute Constant blasted over the bar. Genoa tried to fight back, but Luca Castellazzi’s gloves remained squeaky clean, as the absence of players like Alberto Gilardino and Rodrigo Palacio really showed.
Inter doubled their advantage after the break with Andrea Poli’s first goal since his summer move from Sampdoria. The Under-21 international midfielder’s quick one-two with Joel Obi sent him clear on goal.
A Castaignos error allowed Lucas Pratto to go on the dangerous counter-attack, but he narrowed the angle too much and allowed Castellazzi to block. To make matters worse for Genoa, substitute Constant in turn had to be replaced due to an injury.
Mauro Zarate was introduced and tested Lupatelli with an angled drive, while Lucas Pratto’s glancing header was off target and Cristobal Jorquera dispossessed Esteban Cambiasso to launch an immediate strike that Castellazzi beat away.
Genoa did finally get their goal in stoppages. Pratto was unlucky to see his attempt come off the bar, then Valter Birsa was quickest to react and tapped in the follow-up from six yards.
Inter 2-1 Genoa
Scorers: Maicon 8 (I), Poli 50 (I), Birsa 91 (G)
Inter: Castellazzi; Maicon, Cordoba, Ranocchia, Zanetti; Faraoni, Cambiasso, Poli (Nagatomo 76), Obi; Sneijder (Alvarez 80); Castaignos (Zarate 63)
Genoa: Lupatelli; Sampirisi, Granqvist, Moretti, Rossi (Constant 27) (Marchiori 54); Kucka, Seymour, Birsa; Jorquera; Pratto, Ze Eduardo (Sculli 69)
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