INTER TOP PALERMO 1-0 TO MAKE COPPA SEMIS
Philippe Coutinho celebrating the goal that led Inter to victory.
The Stadio Renzo Barbera is never an easy place to visit, and Inter's away tie in the Coppa Italia quarterfinals against Citta de Palermo there looked to be a tough fixture. The rosanero boasted the likes of Ezequiel Munoz and Inter ex-player Andrea Romano, who promised to look to defy Inter from the very start.
Inter, as ever, came out in their customary 4-3-3 and looked to dominate the match from the start and were allowed to do so as Palermo dropped back and looked to defend strongly. The home side's four man midfield often stifled that of the Nerazzurri, and few chances were created.
Individual moments of brilliance from the attacking triumvirate of Sterling, Coutinho, and Destro were needed to make scoring a reality, and they certainly answered. After half an hour, Raheem Sterling burst down the right and whipped in a wicked cross which Mattia Destro could only nod just wide.
It seemed the two sides would be heading into the locker room at the break with scores level at 0, but 2 minutes into injury time, it was the Brazilian man Coutinho who struck. He played a quick give and go with Destro outside of the box and hit a cracking strike into the bottom right corner, giving Rafael Romo no chance to make a save.
After the break Palermo looked to try and push more people forward to seek an equalizer in front of the Renzo Barbera fans, but to no avail as Andrea Ranocchia and Emerson Luiz valiantly led the back line against Sebastian Sosa and Paulo Dybala.
Ten minutes from time, it seemed as though Palermo had gotten their equalizer. The right back Morganella had pushed high up the pitch and found room for a whipped delivery which fell to the feet of none other than ex-Nerazzurri player Andrea Romano. The midfielder's header seemed destined for the top corner, only to be swatted aside by a full-extension Fernando Muslera.
The rosanero continued to pile on pressure late on, but the Nerazzurri survived 1-0 to make the two-legged semifinals against non other than Juventus later this month.
"It was a tough game, Palermo are a good side, but we played well and managed to get an important win," said man of the match Coutinho. "Now we must shift our attention to the upcoming games in the league before we play Juve again in the Coppa."
Inter's next match is in 3 days when the Nerazzurri welcome Bologna to the Giuseppe Meazza in a key league encounter.