Nicolo Barella and Romelu Lukaku impressed after coming on as substitutes as Inter Milan beat Fiorentina 2-1 in the Coppa Italia Round of 16 tie.
After dominating possession for most of the first half at Estadio Artemio Franchi, Inter Milan broke the deadlock in the 40th minute as Arturo Vidal made no mistake from the penalty spot after the Fiorentina goalkeeper had fouled Alexis Sanchez in the box.
Two minutes later, the hosts were awarded a penalty themselves for Milan Skriniar’s tackle on Christian Kouame, but the referee overturned his decision after consultation with the VAR and checking the pitch-side monitor. Twelve minutes after the break, though, Kouame struck to draw Fiorentina back on level terms.
Both teams had chances to win the game in regulation time, but Alexis Sanchez missed a sitter while Achraf Hakimi was denied by the Viola goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano, while at the other end, Samir Handanovic saved from Giacomo Bonaventura as the game dragged on into extra-time.
Terracciano pulled off three more saves in extra-time to keep out Sanchez, Christian Eriksen and Romelu Lukaku. But the Belgian powered a header into the roof of the net in the 119th minute to lead Inter Milan into the Coppa Italia quarter-finals, where they will face cross-town rivals AC Milan. Here’s how we rated the performances of Antonio Conte’s men on Wednesday afternoon.
Samir Handanovic: 6.5/10
Not tested a great deal by the hosts on the afternoon, but was alert when needed to be, making a good save to keep Bonaventura out at 1-1. Had no chance against Kouame’s volleyed effort before that, though.
Milan Skriniar: 6/10
The Slovakian international was the only member of Conte’s preferred centre-back trio to start on Wednesday. Defended fairly well for most parts, but was guilty of giving away some needless fouls, one of which led to his booking. Missed a chance, heading over from a great position. Taken off at the hour mark due to his booking.
"As defending goes, this is just about as good as it gets from Skriniar!"
Inter's star central defender is glad to see VAR overturn a penalty decision for what was a perfectly timed tackle! 😬 pic.twitter.com/FQtM5veUG9
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 13, 2021
Andrea Ranocchia: 7/10
A solid presence at the heart of the Inter Milan backline, Ranocchia dominated the physical battle against Kouame, winning ten of his fifteen aerial duels while also making a couple of important interceptions. There were a few occasions when he was a tad wayward with his passing, but an assured display.
Aleksandar Kolarov: 5/10
Posted impressive defensive numbers as he completed five interceptions, two tackles and four clearances. However, he was at fault for Fiorentina’s equaliser, failing to deal with the ball effectively, allowing Kouame to pounce. Lost possession a total of 16 times on the day.
Ashley Young: 6/10
Given the nod over Achraf Hakimi, the veteran Englishman was solid in defence and a decent outlet going forward. Played in a few dangerous looking crosses which Fiorentina did well to deal with while helping out at the back, as he made an interception and two clearances.
Roberto Gagliardini: 5/10
A largely average display from the Italian international, who was played in a slightly advanced role than usual. But he did not offer much quality while in possession. Worked hard off the ball, but played a role in Kouame’s equaliser after the break.
Christian Eriksen: 6.5/10
Christian Eriksen vs Fiorentina
120 minutes played
64 accurate passes (82%)
4 key passes
3 accurate crosses
5 accurate long balls
2 shots on target
1 aerial duel won
2 big chances created
Still got it. 💙 pic.twitter.com/sUmzAcEUhG
— ❄️ (@AbdulTHFC) January 13, 2021
A surprise starter, considering his future at the club is up in the air, the Dane looked bright in patches playing in a new deep-lying playmaker role. Played four key passes on the day, creating a couple of chances for the likes of Lukaku and Sanchez, while he drew a save from the Fiorentina goalkeeper in extra-time. Was guilty of some misplaced passes, though, as he lost possession 21 times.
Arturo Vidal: 6.5/10
A combative presence in the middle of the park, the Chilean tried to break up play but wasn’t able to do so very effectively, as he was dribbled past six times in the game, while failing to complete a single tackle or interception. Did make two key passes, that included an early chance for Lautaro Martinez. His most valuable contribution, though, came from the penalty spot to put Inter Milan in front in the first half.
Ivan Perisic: 7/10
Like Young on the opposite flank, the Croatian international provided a good outlet going forward and hit quite a few inviting crosses into the box, creating two big chances in the game, including the one Sanchez missed late in the second half. Defensively more sound than he usually is, winning five duels.
Lautaro Martinez: 5/10
A disappointing game for the Argentine international, who struggled to get into the game. Made just thirty touches in a near-70 minute stay on the pitch and failed to hit a single shot on target. Missed a great chance to double Inter’s lead early in the second half, just before Kouame equalised. Disappointing.
— Inter (@Inter_en) January 13, 2021
Alexis Sanchez: 6/10
Replacing Romelu Lukaku in the starting XI, the Chilean international looked busy early in the game, as he struck the post right before winning the penalty which Vidal converted. However, he was guilty of missing a simple tap-in late in the second half which would have won it for his team much earlier. Drew a save from the Fiorentina goalkeeper in extra-time. Needs to be more clinical.
Stefan de Vrij: 7/10
On for Skriniar a little after the hour-mark. Kept things tight at the back, making two tackles and three clearances while winning three of his four duels. Passing crisp and accurate as always.
Romelu Lukaku: 7/10
— Best of Serie A 🇮🇹 (@BestOfSerieA) January 13, 2021
Came on for Martinez in the 69th minute. Failed to get on the end of a Perisic pass in extra time, but did force Terracciano into a save soon after. Ensured he did not fail the third time of asking, bundling home a Barella cross to win it for his team. The match-winner, once again.
Achraf Hakimi: 6.5/10
Sent on in place of Young in the 69th minute. Had a shot miss narrowly in the second half then went on to create a couple of promising chances for his teammates. Offered a lot of energy and endeavour in the final stages of the game.
Nicolo Barella: 7/10
Replaced Gagliardini in the 81st minute. Like Hakimi, he offered that bit of extra energy and purpose from the middle of the park. Delivered an inch-perfect cross for Lukaku to score the winning goal in extra-time.
Marcelo Brozovic: 6.5/10
On for Vidal in the 94th minute. Helped Inter stay in control of things in the middle of the park.