Eriksen earns Inter last-gasp Coppa win over Milan

Published January 28, 2021
MILAN: AC Milan’s Brahim Diaz (bottom) heads the ball over team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic during the Coppa Italia quarter-final against Inter Milan at the San Siro.—AFP
MILAN: AC Milan’s Brahim Diaz (bottom) heads the ball over team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic during the Coppa Italia quarter-final against Inter Milan at the San Siro.—AFP

MILAN: Forgotten man Christian Eriksen scored a last-gasp winner as Inter Milan advanced to the Coppa Italia semi-finals on Tuesday with a 2-1 victory over 10-man AC Milan in a fiery derby clash.

The quarter-final at the San Siro was overshadowed by a row between star strikers Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku, who both scored on the night, with the Swede later sent off in the second half.

Ibrahimovic’s match started in typically clinical fashion in front of goal after the evergreen Swede superbly fired home in the 31st minute to give Milan the lead — his eighth goal in seven appearances for Milan against Inter in all competitions.

As the first half drew to a close, Ibrahimovic was booked for his part in a clash with Inter’s Romelu Lukaku, with the pair, former team-mates at Manchester United, continuing their argument down the tunnel at halftime.

Both seemed to have calmed down after the break, but Ibrahimovic picked up his second yellow for a trip on Aleksandar Kolarov and was sent off in the 58th minute.

“The booking for the dispute with Lukaku certainly influenced Ibrahimovic’s dismissal,” said Milan coach Stefano Pioli. “He apologised like the great champion he is. But it wasn’t easy with a man less. I didn’t hear what they said but they are old enough to take care of themselves. We have to look ahead.”

Inter coach Antonio Conte said he was happy to see Lukaku’s reaction.

“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 took advantage of the extra man, with their top goalscorer Lukaku firing a 71st-minute penalty into the net off the underside of the crossbar to equalise.

Inter bombarded the Milan goal but could not find a winner until substitute Eriksen stepped up with a stoppage-time free kick to book his side a semi-final clash with either Juventus or SPAL.

Eriksens short-lived Inter career was expected to end this month after club CEO Giuseppe Marotta confirmed the midfielder is among the players the Nerazzurri are willing to sell. But Conte said the 28-year-old Eriksen remains in his plans.

“He is part of the project, Conte said. “I urged him to take the free-kick, he’s a bit shy but I hope this goal helps him. We all want him to do well because hes a good lad, perhaps too good. Were keeping a close eye on him as he is part of the group. Well all keep working hard right until the end.”

Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2021

Opinion

Are we failures?
27 Feb 2021

Are we failures?

Third World leaders emulated their erstwhile oppressors...
Rage of Caliban
27 Feb 2021

Rage of Caliban

Lawyers have shown that the fraternity abides by tribalistic values...
Combating pollution
26 Feb 2021

Combating pollution

Air quality is at hazardous levels, and a more robust policy response is needed.

Editorial

LoC ceasefire
Updated 27 Feb 2021

LoC ceasefire

THE Pakistan-India relationship is known for its complexity and bitterness, but there are times when surprises of a...
27 Feb 2021

Null and void

HAD people not lost their lives, the ham-fisted attempt at rigging the Daska by-election on Feb 19 could have been...
27 Feb 2021

Minister’s non-appearance

FEDERAL Water Resources Minister Faisal Vawda’s continued absence from the Election Commission’s hearing on the...
Terrorist’s escape
Updated 26 Feb 2021

Terrorist’s escape

It is not clear how many military personnel were involved in this incident and what the investigation into their actions revealed.
26 Feb 2021

Penalising filers

THE FBR has decided to penalise taxpayers filing their returns late. Apparently, these filers will be required to ...
26 Feb 2021

Corporal punishment

FOR a child born in our society, the cycle of violence begins early. The first taste of violence often comes at the...