Brilliant Inter Milan remained on course for a hat-trick of Supercoppa Italiana crowns after swatting aside Lazio 3-0 in their semi-final in Riyadh.

The Serie A leaders will play reigning Italian champions Napoli, 3-0 winners over Fiorentina on Thursday, in Monday’s final after goals from Marcus Thuram, Hakan Calhanoglu and Davide Frattesi earned victory in an emphatically one-sided clash.

Inter came flying out of the blocks in the Saudi Arabian capital and, in a sign of things to come, fashioned three decent openings inside the first seven minutes for Thuram (two) and Nicolo Barella.

They failed to take advantage of those but did not have to wait much longer for the breakthrough, Thuram getting the goal he had been threatening in the 17th minute.

Alessandro Bastoni’s low cross to the front post was flicked between his legs by Federico Dimarco – perhaps attempting an audacious effort on goal himself – which ended up taking four Lazio defenders out of play and leaving the unmarked Thuram with a simple tap-in.

That was no more than Simone Inzaghi’s team deserved and they should really have been out of sight by half-time after peppering the Lazio goal with shots and crosses.

Matteo Darmian tested Lazio goalkeeper Ivan Provedel, who later spilled Lautaro Martinez’s deflected shot but reacted well to push the ball behind before Thuram could slot home his second of the night.

Inter came even closer in the 36th minute when, following a brilliant move down the left, Dimarco picked out Barella in the middle and the Italy midfielder smashed a volley against the top of the crossbar.

Darmian also blazed wide at the far post and Thuram saw a goalbound shot blocked as the one-way traffic continued but, incredibly, Lazio only trailed by one at half-time.

However, their good fortune was not to last, with Inter making it 2-0 from the penalty spot five minutes into the second half.

A VAR review convinced referee Matteo Marchetti that Pedro had clipped the back of Martinez’s legs and spot-kick expert Calhanoglu clinically drilled home the resulting penalty.

Martinez should have made it 3-0 soon after, thumping the underside of the bar from 10 yards out, and Serie A’s leading scorer drilled inches wide just before the hour as Lazio were ripped apart time and again.

The Roman outfit tried to find some way back into the game but Inter remained in complete control and Thuram saw another chance go begging before he and captain Martinez both made way in a double substitution in the 74th minute.

That temporarily afforded Lazio some much-needed respite but Maurizio Sarri’s men never threatened to turn things round and the Nerazzurri wrapped the game up in the 87th minute when substitute Frattesi finished off a counter-attack.

Arkadiusz Milik scored a hat-trick as Juventus swept aside Frosinone 4-0 to book their place in the Coppa Italia semi-finals.

Massimiliano Allegri celebrated his 400th game as Bianconeri coach and handed a start to Turkish teenager Kenan Yildiz alongside Milik in attack, with Dusan Vlahovic on the bench after battling illness.

Juve took an early lead in the 11th minute through a penalty from Milik.

Fabio Miretti weaved into the Frosinone area and was sandwiched between two defenders, with Pol Lirola tripping him as he slid in from behind.

Following a VAR review, the spot-kick stood and Milik coolly sent goalkeeper Michele Cerofolini the wrong way.

Miretti continued to be a threat down the left and saw his cutback blocked before Filip Kostic’s effort from the rebound was hacked clear.

Juve went 2-0 up in the 38th minute through a swift counter-attack, which was started and finished by Milik.

The Poland striker played a deep diagonal ball out to the left to Weston McKennie from just inside his own half before then sprinting on down the right.

The American held up possession before clipping an angled pass back through the penalty box, where Milik arrived at the far post to sweep the ball past Cerofolini.

The Frosinone keeper saved from Timothy Weah’s drive towards the end of the half as Juve looked to put the tie to bed ahead of the break.

Milik completed his hat-trick three minutes into the second half when Frosinone were caught playing out from the back and Manuel Locatelli squared for the Poland striker to tap in.

Milik, who went into the game having not scored since early October, thought he had a fourth just before the hour when he flicked in a low cross after a corner had not been cleared, but the goal was ruled out for offside following a VAR review.

It was soon 4-0, though, as 18-year-old Yildiz acrobatically volleyed in another brilliant deep cross from McKennie out on the right.

Frosinone, who had pulled off a 4-0 win over Napoli in the last round, eventually caused some concern in the Juve penalty area when substitute Enzo Barrenechea glanced a header from a corner straight at keeper Mattia Perin.

Juve substitute Hans Nicolussi Caviglia sent a long-range effort over the crossbar before Cerofolini saved from Andrea Cambiaso after a surging run.

Yildiz was given a breather for the closing stages, with Belgian teenager Joseph Nonge Boende coming on, as Allegri’s side marched through to a two-legged semi-final against Lazio.

Teun Koopmeiners fired a double as Atalanta dumped AC Milan out of the Coppa Italia after a 2-1 win at the San Siro.

The Netherlands midfielder struck a superb equaliser just 90 seconds after Rafael Leao had opened the scoring for Milan at the end of the first half before converting a penalty in the second period.

Atalanta’s surprise win secured them a semi-final tie against Fiorentina and is the second time they have beaten Stefano Pioli’s side in just over a month, following their 3-2 home Serie A victory on December 9.

The Rossoneri entered the cup tie in top form, winning five and drawing one of their six matches in all competitions since their league defeat to Atalanta, but the visitors fully deserved to progress.

A first half of few chances burst into life just before the interval when Leao combined with Theo Hernandez at pace down the left and brilliantly converted the latter’s ball inside from the edge of the penalty area.

Atalanta’s response was immediate. With the clock ticking into first-half stoppage time, Emil Holm burst clear on the right edge of the area and his pin-point cut-back was expertly swept home by Koopmeiners.

The visitors then went close to snatching the lead when substitute Mario Pasalic’s effort was blocked by Milan captain Davide Calabria.

Up until a frantic finale to the first half, Milan midfielder Yunus Musah was the only player to have a shot on target, with his 19th-minute shot saved by Marco Carnesecchi.

Milan defender Matteo Gabbia and Atalanta midfielder Marten de Roon had both been forced off following a heavy 38th-minute collision and replaced by Simon Kjaer and Pasalic respectively.

Koopmeiners forced Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan into a fine low save with a low effort from outside the box at the start of the second half and threatened again as he fired wide soon after.

Atalanta were awarded a penalty – confirmed by the video assistant referee – after Aleksey Miranchuk went down under Alex Jimenez’s challenge and Koopmeiners converted into the bottom corner in the 59th minute.

Carnesecchi turned away Christian Pulisic’s goalbound shot from the edge of the area as Milan chased an equaliser.

Musah’s long-range shot was also saved by Carnesecchi and Milan substitute Jan-Carlo Simic headed wide from a late corner as Atalanta held firm.

The visitors were given a scare in stoppage time when VAR checked for a possible handball moments before the final whistle, while Milan’s unused substitute Antonio Mirante was shown a red card as the players left the field.

AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan is focused on winning more silverware ahead of the Coppa Italia quarter-final against Atalanta.

Maignan’s first season at the San Siro in 2021-22 ended with Milan winning their first Scudetto for 11 years.

But there was no sequel to Serie A glory last term as Milan finished the campaign empty-handed.

France international Maignan, who arrived in the summer of 2021 from Lille to replace Gianluigi Donnarumma, is determined to savour that winning feeling again.

“The atmosphere during the parade with all the fans, when we paraded through the city on the bus, was an extraordinary and unique moment,” Maignan told GQ Italia magazine about Milan’s 2022 title celebrations.

“At Milan I found incredible team-mates and fans. A family. Here I would like to win as many titles as possible.

“I don’t feel like a spectacular goalkeeper. I try to do things in the simplest way possible.

“My philosophy, also written on my gloves and boots, is ‘foi discipline travail patiente et humilite’.

“It means ‘faith, discipline, work, patience and humility’. This is my daily mentality.”

Milan are in a rich vein of form heading into the San Siro tie with Atalanta.

The last six games in all competitions for Stefano Pioli’s side have produced five wins and a draw.

Ivorian teenage Chaka Traore has scored in the last two games, wins over Cagliari and Empoli, as the 19-year-old has stepped up with Nigeria striker Samuel Chukwueze away on Africa Cup of Nations duty and Noah Okafor sidelined by injury.

Filippo Terracciano, the 20-year-old defender who this week signed from Hellas Verona on a four-and-a-half-year deal, said: “I noticed that many youngsters have been getting opportunities.

“I’ve been pleased to see many of them play and I hope to be able to play with them too.”

Atalanta were the last side to beat Milan on December 9 when Colombia striker Luis Muriel struck a 90th-minute winner in a 3-2 victory for the Bergamo side.

“Milan are third in the standings and at the moment they are strong at home,” said Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini.

“But we won against them a month ago and this can give us confidence to do it again.

“Football is perhaps the only sport where there is also a draw, but someone will have to come out on top here.

“Taking the Scudetto and the Europa League as unlikely, the Coppa Italia is the most attainable trophy for us.”

Juventus stayed on course for a record-extending 15th Coppa Italia title with a thumping 6-1 win against Serie A strugglers Salernitana in Turin.

The Allianz Stadium fell into stunned silence in the opening minute when Chukwubuikem Ikwuemesi gave the visitors a shock lead.

But Juve hit back through Fabio Miretti and Andrea Cambiaso before the break and ran riot in the second half.

Daniele Rugani, Dylan Bronn’s own goal, Kenan Yildiz and Timothy Weah all added to the scoring and Massimiliano Allegri’s side will now face Frosinone in the quarter-finals.

Salernitana head coach and former Juve striker Filippo Inzaghi’s side made a dream start against his former club as Ikwuemesi struck the opening goal in the first minute.

The Nigerian striker pounced on an error in the penalty area by defender Federico Gatti and buried a low finish into the bottom corner.

Juve goalkeeper Mattia Perin then denied Salernitana a second as he made a flying save to keep out Junior Sambia’s shot from outside the box, which was destined for the top corner.

But the Bianconeri, showing seven changes from last week’s home Serie A win against Roma, rode the early storm and hauled themselves level in the 12th minute.

Cambiaso’s headed pass inside the area picked out Miretti, who converted with a low, left-footed effort.

Juve were awarded a penalty in the 18th minute by referee Davide Ghersini, only for VAR to rule Sambia had fouled Gatti outside the box and a free-kick was awarded instead.

Federico Chiesa and Rugani were both thwarted by Salernitana goalkeeper Vincenzo Fiorillo as Juve built up a head of steam and after going close again through Chiesa and Adrien Rabiot’s header, the home side took the lead.

Danilo reacted quickest on the edge of the six-yard box following a 35th-minute corner and teed up Cambiaso, who slotted home from close range.

Juve looked to extend their lead before the break, with Arkadiusz Milik’s thunderbolt and Miretti both forcing Fiorillo into further saves.

Salernitana’s task looked beyond them in the 54th minute when Rugani turned home a rebound after Milik’s header from a corner had been saved.

Juve made it 4-1 with 15 minutes remaining when substitute Kenan Yildiz’s shot was deflected in off Tunisia defender Bronn.

Yildiz added Juve’s fifth in the 88th minute with a superb solo effort and Weah lashed home a low shot from outside the box to complete the scoring in the first minute of added time.

Massimiliano Allegri is determined to lead Juventus to another Coppa Italia success.

Juve, the competition’s most successful side with 14 titles, are favourites to lift the trophy after holders Inter Milan and Serie A champions Napoli were both knocked out.

Standing in Juve’s way of a quarter-final tie against Frosinone is Serie A’s bottom club Salernitana, who travel to Turin on Thursday.

And Allegri, who has been in charge for four of the club’s cup successes, is aware of the opportunity that awaits a team who have not lifted any silverware since 2021.

He said: “The Coppa Italia means a lot to us, as it always has.

“That applies even more so this season as we’re only competing in this competition and in the league, so we must do everything possible to get to face Frosinone in the quarter-finals.

“Anything can happen in a knockout tie, as we saw with Napoli and Inter getting knocked out. The early stages of the Coppa Italia may not interest everyone, but there’s a trophy at stake.

“Losing or drawing a game at this club can almost be a catastrophe, which is exactly why we have to give our all to progress. That’s what’s great about being at Juve.”

Thursday’s opponents Salernitana have won just two of their 18 league matches this season.

The teams will meet twice in the space of four days, as they face off again in the league on Sunday, but Allegri has all eyes on the cup fixture.

He added: “Tomorrow we’re facing a team on the up. Salernitana beat Verona away from home (on Saturday) and are well drilled, so we mustn’t underestimate them.

“We’ll face them once again on Sunday, but right now we’re focused on the cup. When the tie is over, we’ll turn our attention towards the league.

“It’s always tough to win matches. The further ahead you go, the smaller the margin for error, so we need to be good in that regard.”

Allegri confirmed trio Mattia Perin, Daniele Rugani and Federico Chiesa will all start for the cup clash but is undecided about the rest of his selection.

He said: “I still need to assess the rest. (Kenan) Yildiz won’t play tomorrow. When a young player is doing well, they get highly praised straight away. He needs to stay calm and keep working hard.

“I’ll certainly send the best possible team out there tomorrow. The stadium will be packed out, so even more reason for us to want to win.”

A double from Serbian striker Luka Jovic helped AC Milan to a 4-1 win over Cagliari and a place in the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia.

Jovic struck twice in the first half of the contest at San Siro, while 19-year-old Chaka Traore was delighted to score his first Milan goal on his full debut early in the second half.

Paulo Azzi grabbed a consolation for Cagliari in the 87th minute but there was still time for substitute Rafael Leao to score a fourth for Milan, who have not won the competition for 20 years.

Milan boss Stefano Pioli retained only two players from the starting line-up for Saturday’s Serie A win over Sassuolo – Theo Hernandez and Tijjani Reijnders.

Cagliari are sitting in the relegation zone in Serie A but it was Claudio Ranieri’s side who created the first big chance inside four minutes, with Andrea Petagna’s close-range header from a corner drawing a fine reaction save from 40-year-old Antonio Mirante.

Four minutes later Jovic was through one on one with Boris Radunovic after a perfectly-timed pass from Yacine Adli but the keeper was equal to his shot.

Antoine Makoumbou was the next to threaten the Milan goal when Petagna pulled the ball back into the middle of the box but his tame effort was straight at the keeper.

The breakthrough for Milan came in the 29th minute, with Hernandez the creator, picking out Jovic on the right of the box with a fine ball from the left.

The striker managed to evade his marker with his first touch before tucking the ball under Radunovic.

Three minutes before half-time, the summer signing from Fiorentina made it two goals in a game for Milan for the first time.

Again the architect was Hernandez, who drove down the left, cut into the middle and slid in Jovic, whose shot from a tight angle squirmed under Radunovic and into the net.

Five minutes after half-time, the widest smile in Milan belonged to 19-year-old Traore as he bagged a first goal in red and black.

It was a scrappy goal, with Alex Jimenez’s ball in from the left half blocked, Samuel Chukwueze failing to connect with his attempted shot and then Traore turning and guiding the ball under Radunovic.

The keeper will feel he should have done better but that took nothing away from the joy of Traore, who was mobbed by his team-mates.

Pioli turned to his big guns with 20 minutes left, sending on Leao and Christian Pulisic.

The visitors found something to celebrate in the 87th minute, Azzi’s strike from 20 yards taking a deflection and beating Mirante, but Leao had the final say, curling the ball beyond Radunovic in stoppage time.

Inter Milan conceded twice in the last eight minutes of extra-time as their grip on the Coppa Italia came to an end with a 2-1 defeat to Bologna.

Lautaro Martinez had a penalty saved as normal time ended goalless, before Carlos Augusto headed hosts Inter into a 92nd-minute lead.

But Sam Beukema and Dan Ndoye struck in a dramatic turnaround as the back-to-back cup winners were dumped out at the quarter-final stage for the first time since the 2018-19 season.

Inter’s Marko Arnautovic tried his luck from range but his sixth-minute effort went wide in a cagey start.

Bologna responded with a chance of their own in the 18th minute when Giovanni Fabbian’s shot grazed the outside of the post.

Inter pushed for an opening but were being held off by a stubborn Bologna.

The closest they got in the first half was when Davide Frattesi went down under a challenge but his penalty appeals were waved off.

Inter came out fast after the break and came close in the 49th minute through the dangerous Fratessi.

The goalscoring midfielder lost his marker and met Alessandro Bastoni’s cross, but he failed to connect with the ball properly.

Simone Inzaghi’s side had kept four successive clean sheets prior to this match and their quality showed as their tight back three and hard working midfield stifled any Bologna attack.

But at the other end Martinez missed a golden opportunity to give Inter the lead in the 65th minute.

Bologna’s Tommaso Corazza was deemed to have handled the ball in the box following a corner but Martinez’s placed effort was saved by Federico Ravaglia.

The striker had scored 17 in all competitions up to that point and failed to add to his tally as Inter’s frustrations grew.

The Argentina international was keen to make up for his miss when he drove with the ball before shooting from range, but his shot sailed just over the Bologna crossbar.

The stalemate remained at full-time, but Inter finally broke the deadlock just two minutes into extra-time.

Federico Dimarco’s corner picked out Augusto who rose highest and nodded his effort home.

But the visitors responded eight minutes from time when Joshua Zirkzee flicked on a corner to the charging Beukema who smashed home from close range to make it 1-1.

And Bologna grabbed another in the 116th minute.

Zirkzee produced another moment of brilliance to beat his man in midfield before he threaded a pass through to Ndoye, who casually chipped Emil Audero to give his side a 2-1 win.

Serie A champions Napoli were dumped out of the Coppa Italia following a shock 4-0 defeat to Frosinone at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Napoli had been the favourites to reach the quarter-final stage, but second-half strikes from Enzo Barrenechea, Giuseppe Caso, a Walid Cheddira penalty and Abdou Harroui saw Frosinone record a famous victory.

Walter Mazzarri’s side have endured a turbulent defence of the Serie A championship they secured after a 33-year wait, falling 14 points adrift of leaders Inter Milan with just 16 matches played.

But after ending a three-game losing run to secure their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League place with a 2-0 win against Braga, and then recording a 2-1 victory against Cagliari in the league, Napoli will have expected to take a third win on the bounce against a Frosinone side who were making their debut in the round of 16.

Mazzari made nine changes to the side which beat Cagliari last weekend, while Frosinone boss Eusebio Di Francesco retained only three players from the side that lost at Lecce.

Giovanni Simeone appeared to have given Napoli the lead nine minutes before the interval only to see his goal disallowed by VAR after Jesper Lindstrom was adjudged to have handled the ball in the build-up.

After the interval, Napoli continued to probe for the opener – with Mario Rui’s free-kick striking the woodwork – but the Italian champions were suddenly on the back foot when Barrenechea headed home a corner shortly after the hour mark.

Frosinone then doubled their lead when Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s misplaced pass was intercepted by Caso, who made no mistake in slotting past Napoli goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini with 70 minutes gone.

The home supporters were left stunned as the six-time winners were suddenly facing up to another early exit from the Coppa Italia after their defeat at this stage of the competition by Cremonese last season.

And it would only get worse for Mazzarri’s men when Matias Soule was fouled by Di Lorenzo in the area with Cheddira, on loan from Napoli, scoring Frosinone’s third of the night from the penalty spot before Harroui netted a fourth deep into stoppage time.

It sealed Frosinone’s first ever win against Napoli, and a quarter-final against either Juventus or Salernitana.

Rodrygo’s 89th-minute goal saw Real Madrid return to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over mid-table Rayo Vallecano at the Bernabeu.

Vinicius Junior was absent with a knee problem but his team-mates put on a united show of support for the winger after he was racially abused at Valencia on Sunday, all emerging wearing his shirt and holding up a “racists, out of football” banner.

Karim Benzema put the hosts ahead in the 31st minute but Rayo thought they had snatched a draw when Raul de Tomas equalised six minutes from time, only for Rodrygo to come inside on his right foot and stroke a shot past Stole Dimitrievski from the edge of the area.

Victory moved them back into second place in LaLiga as city rivals Atletico squandered a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 with second-bottom Espanyol.

Goals from Cesar Montes, Joselu and Vinicius Souza cancelled out strikes from Saul Niguez, Antoine Griezmann and Yannick Carrasco and left Espanyol three points from safety with two matches remaining and still in danger of suffering a second top-flight relegation in four seasons.

Two goals from Nicolas Jackson secured a 2-0 win over Cadiz which guaranteed Villarreal fifth place, after Real Betis lost 1-0 to struggling Getafe who in turn boosted their survival chances, while already-relegated Elche drew 1-1 at home to Sevilla.

Inter Milan warmed up for their Champions League final with Manchester City by retaining the Coppa Italia courtesy of two goals from Lautaro Martinez.

Nicolas Gonzalez had given Fiorentina a third-minute lead but Inter’s Argentina international struck twice before half-time to secure the club’s ninth victory in the competition.

Lautaro Martinez was Inter's hero as his two goals saw them retain the Coppa Italia with a 2-1 victory over Fiorentina.

Martinez produced two fine first-half finishes – the first for his 100th Inter goal – as the Nerazzurri rallied following Nicolas Gonzalez's third-minute opener at a raucous Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday.

Vincenzo Italiano's Viola piled on the pressure after the break, but Inter captain Samir Handanovic made a string of crucial saves, the most impressive of them to deny Luka Jovic.

That rear-guard action from Inter ensured they clung on to retain the trophy, and with a Champions League final against Manchester City to come next month, the Nerazzurri are in the hunt for a double.

It was a dream start for Fiorentina. Jonathan Ikone found space to send in a low cross from the left, allowing his opposite winger Gonzalez to tap home at the far post.

Edin Dzeko missed two chances to level for Inter, but it was his partner-in-crime Martinez who stepped up just before the half-hour mark, latching onto Marcelo Brozovic's pass to finish low across goal.

Martinez doubled up just eight minutes later, volleying Nicolo Barella's delicate cross beyond Pietro Terracciano.

Arthur Cabral headed straight at Handanovic from close range, before Inter substitute Romelu Lukaku tested Terracciano at the other end.

Handanovic remained alert to deny Gonzalez a double of his own from a tight angle, while Robin Gosens somehow failed to prod Lukaku's cross into a gaping net to kill the contest.

Jovic had two chances to send the game to extra time after entering the fray, but Handanovic thwarted the former Real Madrid striker with a brilliant one-on-one save before watching a header from the Serbian spin just wide as Inter claimed a ninth Coppa crown.

Fiorentina sealed their place in the Coppa Italia final after a 0-0 draw against Cremonese on Thursday at Stadio Artemio Franchi, securing a 2-0 aggregate win.

A frantic start to the game did not lead to any goals, with few clear-cut chances for either team despite the pace of the play in the first half.

It took until the 73rd minute for Cremonese to have anything that could be called a chance, with Charles Pickel seeing a close-range header closed down by Fiorentina goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano.

Nicolas Gonzalez curled a shot wide at the other end moments later, but on the whole, it was a match devoid of any serious opportunities.

The hosts hit the target just once from 13 attempts, while Cremonese could only muster two shots at all as Vincenzo Italiano's men comfortably kept them at bay.

Fiorentina will be hoping to rediscover the form that recently saw them win 10 games in a row, having not claimed victory in four, but have almost a month to prepare for Inter, when they will look to lift their seventh Coppa Italia.

La Viola will face the Nerazzurri in the final on May 24 after Simone Inzaghi's men dumped out Juventus in the other semi-final on Wednesday.

Simone Inzaghi hailed Inter for playing as a "real team" after the Nerazzurri battled past Juventus to reach the Coppa Italia final.

Federico Dimarco's first-half strike proved the difference as Inter defeated Juve 1-0 at San Siro on Wednesday, securing a 2-1 aggregate triumph in the semi-final tie.

Victory kept Inter's Coppa defence alive, having beaten Juve in last year's final, while the Nerazzurri are also in the Champions League semi-finals – where they face fierce rivals Milan.

Massimiliano Allegri's side offered little with a performance in stark contrast to a fiery first leg, and Inzaghi believes his side were good value for their triumph.

"It was an intense match from start to finish, we deserved to reach the final," the Inter coach told Mediaset. 

"We are very happy, we wanted to return to Rome [to the Stadio Olimpico for the May 24 final]."

Inter outclassed Allegri's visitors in all departments, with Juve mustering an expected goals tally of just 0.15 to the Nerazzurri's 1.19.

It also marked Inter's first Coppa semi-final victory over Juve in six attempts as the Nerazzurri reached the last four in back-to-back seasons for the first time since doing so between 2009 and 2011.

"They were very good, they had a great race tonight," Inzaghi said of his players. "We did not lose a yard against a strong team, we have remained united and compact, we have been a real team. 

"Whoever entered played his part. I take away many excellent points."

Dimarco was the hero in front of his home crowd, scoring his fifth goal in all competitions this season – only Achraf Hakimi (seven in 2020-21) has managed more in the last 10 seasons among Inter defenders.

The Inter left-back was quick to share the praise, though, pinpointing his team-mates' will to fight as the driving factor for their success.

Asked what the difference was for Inter, Dimarco told Mediaset: "There are no secrets. In this group everyone is fighting for the shirt and to show what they're worth."

"We played an excellent match. It was what we wanted and we achieved it with a good victory."

Federico Dimarco scored the only goal of the game as Inter kept their Coppa Italia defence on course with a 1-0 semi-final win over Juventus, securing a 2-1 aggregate triumph.

The Nerazzurri, who defeated Juve in last year's final, will face either Cremonese or Fiorentina – the latter leading 2-0 ahead of Thursday's second leg – in this season's showpiece on May 24 at Stadio Olimpico.

Inter headed into Wednesday's clash at San Siro with the semi-final tie finely poised at 1-1 after a fiery first leg, although Dimarco's neat first-half finish soon had Simone Inzaghi's hosts in control.

Edin Dzeko saw a strike ruled out for offside in the second half as Massimiliano Allegri's side crashed out of the Coppa with a whimper.

Inter started at a frenetic pace and should have taken a third-minute lead when Nicolo Barella's right-wing cross found Dzeko, who bundled wide at the back post.

Yet the hosts' early dominance was rewarded after 15 minutes as Dimarco coolly rolled into the bottom-left corner following Barella's delicate throughball.

A fine Andre Onana stop from Filip Kostic's arrowing drive was required to keep Inter's lead intact, while Mattia Perin denied a low Lautaro Martinez effort with an equally impressive save.

Another attempt from range by Fabio Miretti tested Onana after the interval, before Dzeko saw a driven finish chalked off for offside from Dimarco's pinpoint pass.

Perin thwarted Henrikh Mkhitaryan late on to limit the damage as Inter advanced into another Coppa final.


What does it mean? Inter alleviate Serie A concerns with more cup joy

Inter are facing a battle to finish in Italy's top four in Serie A for a place in Europe next season, but their cup exploits have kept the Nerazzurri faithful with reason to cheer.

Inzaghi's side are into the Champions League semi-finals, where they face fierce rivals Milan across a two-legged tie, while they remain on course to defend their Coppa Italia crown.

Juve, meanwhile, may have been buoyed by the reversal of their 15-point deduction in Serie A, but the Europa League now represents the Bianconeri's only chance of silverware this season.

Deadly Dimarco

Dimarco continues to be an unlikely source of goals for Inter this season, chipping in with the opener for his fifth strike in all competitions – four of those assisted by Barella.

Across the last 10 seasons for Inter, Achraf Hakimi (seven goals in 2020-21) is the only defender to manage more than Dimarco's tally in the 2022-23 campaign.

Strikerless plan fails for Allegri

Allegri opted to start without a recognised striker, leaving his only out-and-out number nine Arkadiusz Milik on the bench after choosing Federico Chiesa to play up top with Angel Di Maria.

The Juve coach soon introduced Milik at half-time but that did little to improve the Bianconeri's fortunes as they rarely tested Onana in a timid showing that belied their gutsy first-leg performance.

What's next?

Inter return to Serie A action at home to Lazio on Sunday, when Juventus visit Bologna.

Romelu Lukaku was dramatically cleared to face Juventus in the second leg of Inter's Coppa Italia semi-final as Italian football chiefs rescinded the red card he received for standing up to racist abuse.

An intervention on Saturday from the president of the Italian FA (FIGC), Gabriele Gravina, brought about the cancellation of Lukaku's second yellow card in the first leg of the Juventus tie.

That was despite the FIGC on Friday announcing the ban would stand, which was followed by an outraged response from Inter.

Inter reacted with dismay and "great sorrow" to Friday's ruling, saying it appeared Lukaku had been judged "the only guilty party" despite being the victim.

Gravina's decision to subsequently quash the verdict was warmly welcomed by Lukaku, who said in a statement on Inter's website: "I am really happy about this decision from the president of the FIGC, who has shown great sensitivity to the situation.

"I believe that thanks to his intervention, justice has been done and this sends out a great message to the whole world of sport and beyond. This has shown that the desire is there to fight racism."

The initial decision to uphold the red card and suspension had all the attributes of an embarrassing own goal for the FIGC amid efforts to show they take racism seriously.

Belgian striker Lukaku converted a penalty in the fifth minute of stoppage time to earn Inter a 1-1 draw in the semi-final first leg on April 4 at the Allianz Stadium.

He then used his finger to shush the home fans' vitriol and that reaction was deemed a bookable offence by referee Davide Massa. Lukaku had already been booked for a foul in the 80th minute, so the second yellow card saw him dismissed.

The Inter frontman, who is on loan from Chelsea, subsequently demanded action from Italian authorities after the latest case of him being targeted for abuse, while team-mate Edin Dzeko described the treatment from the Juventus fans as something "that should never happen".

FIFA president Gianni Infantino labelled the abuse "unacceptable" and called for those responsible to be punished.

A partial stadium closure was initially imposed on Juventus as a result of Lukaku being targeted, with the section from where the abuse came ordered to be shut for one game, but that decision was overturned, without an explanation being offered.

The second leg will take place on Wednesday at San Siro, and Inter head coach Simone Inzaghi will be relieved to have Lukaku available.

Saturday's apparent common sense decision from the FIGC was announced in a statement to Italian media, which announced Lukaku had been pardoned "in an exceptional and extraordinary way".

The FIGC statement added: "The principle of the fight against all forms of racism is a fundamental element of the sports system."

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