After Juventus, Gennaro Gattuso’s Napoli beat Serie-A leader Inter Milan 1-0 at San Siro in the first leg of Coppa Italia semifinal.
In the first half, Inter attempted to play attacking game but did not trouble David Ospina, apart from a header from Lukaku that the keeper held with ease.
Dries Mertens scooped over from almost top of the box in the begining and Lautaro Martinez should really have done better with a free header from Cristiano Biraghi’s cross from left wing.
Daniele Padelli made a fine one-to-one stop when Dries Mertens slipped in Giovanni Di Lorenzo, with Napoli’s argument that the ball was handled by Stefan de Vrij going unheard.
Napoli have enjoyed few successes against Inter in recent years. Since the last decade they have hardly had some succuess. So no one foresaw Fabian Ruiz, who scored last goal in September at Lecce — to score the goal. And what a great strike it was. From outside the box, after playing a passes with Giovanni Di Lorenzo, he curled a spectacular left-footed effort past Inter Second goalie Daniele Padelli.
Dries Mertens has been linked to number of clubs notably Chelsea, in recent past, as he becomes free agent this summer. He’s yet to open contract discussions with Napoli and could very well walk away after seven-years with the club. The opponents tonight could potentially be future employer.
Lukaku and Christian Eriksen almost scored an equliser, as each nearly beat Ospina, who gratefully smothered the ball.
Eriksen and Alexis Sanchez were brought in the second half provided some impetus, and fellow substitute Danilo D’Ambrosio almost prodded Lukaku’s last-minute flick-on past Ospina.
Lukaku was the hero after Inter’s derby win against Milan. There is no denying the impact he has had at Inter, but he along with Martinez had a dull day, barring couple of decent opportunities in Copa Italia Semifinal.
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