Italian Cup: Inter claims victory in heated Milan Derby
Inter Milan advanced to the Italian Cup semi-finals with a 2-1 victory against 10-man AC Milan in a heated derby clash, courtesy of a last-minute winner by Christian Eriksen.
Lukaku missed a chance to put Inter ahead on 20 minutes as Milan goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu, standing in for the suspended Gianluigi Donnarumma, saved with his foot.
Ibrahimovic grabbed the opener on the half-hour after connecting with Soualiho Meite’s headed cross, firing in low from the right with the ball bouncing in off the far post.
Former Manchester United teammates Ibrahimovic and Lukaku then clashed angrily before the half-time whistle. Ibrahimovic taunted Lukaku and infuriated the Belgian by laughing in his face with the pair going head-to-head.
The duo traded insults as they headed towards the tunnel with a furious Lukaku being restrained by his teammates. Both players were booked over the incident.
Ibrahimovic was sent off when he picked up a second yellow card 15 minutes after the break for bringing down Aleksandar Kolarov.
Rafael Leao’s foul on Nicolo Barella gave Inter a penalty after 71 minutes with Lukaku stepping up to fire in through the underside of the crossbar.
Inter kept the pressure on and continued to create chances, however, 10-man AC Milan absorbed all the pressure. Late in the game, the out-of-favour Eriksen came off the bench to show Inter coach Antonio Conte what he’s made of.
The Danish midfielder scored the winner deep into stoppage time with a sensational free-kick to give Inter the advantage.
The game ended in Inter’s favour and Inter coach Conte was very pleased with the result and with Lukaku’s reaction after the altercation with Ibrahimovic.
“I was pleased to see Romelu like this,” said Conte. “Ibra has the wickedness of a winner. I think that Romelu, also from this point of view, is growing.”
“For us he’s important, and if he gets angry every now and then I’m pleased.”
Inter go through to meet either Juventus or Serie B side SPAL in the two-legged semi-final on 3 and 10 February.