Lukaku sets up Milan derby in Coppa Italia quarter-finals
Substitute Romelu Lukaku scored a last-gasp winner as Inter Milan beat Fiorentina 2-1 yesterday to set up an Italian Cup quarter-final against crosstown rivals AC Milan.
Lukaku headed home a minute before the end of extra time in Florence, just as it appeared as if the match was heading for penalties.
Juventus also needed extra time to beat Genoa 3-2, while Napoli beat second-division Empoli by the same scoreline.
The score was 1-1 at the end of regular time after Fiorentina’s Christian Kouamé canceled out Arturo Vidal’s opener from the penalty spot.
Inter will be the home side when they plays their city rivals at the end of the month. The two Milan teams are also leading Serie A with the Rossoneri top of the league, three points ahead of second-place Inter.
Fiorentina are dangerously close to the relegation zone in Serie A but it took the Nerazzurri until five minutes before half-time to break the deadlock.
Christian Eriksen’s effort was parried by Pietro Terracciano and Alexis Sánchez hit the post with the follow-up, but the Fiorentina goalkeeper had brought down the Chile striker as he unleashed his shot and the referee pointed to the spot.
Vidal then hit the penalty down the middle for his first goal for Inter.
Fiorentina were awarded a penalty of their own moments later when Milan Škriniar appeared to foul Kouamé but the referee reversed his decision after a video review.
The hosts did equalise in the 57th minute. In a goalmouth scramble, the ball eventually fell to Kouamé who had time to control it before blasting into the top right corner.
Lukaku had been rested but he was brought on in the 69th and, moments after seeing a great chance well saved by Terracciano, scored the winner by heading in Nicolò Barella’s cross from the right.
Hamza Rafia scored the winning goal on his debut to send Juventus through to the quarter-finals.
Last year’s runner-up Juventus, which have won the cup a record 13 times, will face either Sassuolo or Spal.
Andrea Pirlo’s side was given a scare as Genoa fought back from two goals down to end regular time at 2-2. The Bianconeri had to do something they didn’t want or expect to do, bring Cristiano Ronaldo off the bench.
But it was another substitute who made the difference as the 21-year-old Rafia fired into the bottom left corner from close range after Álvaro Morata had pulled back from the byline.
Morata and Dejan Kulusevski had scored inside 23 minutes for Juventus, which appeared to be heading for a comfortable win before goals from Lennart Czyborra and Filippo Melegoni saw Genoa level.