Inter never dies, 3-2 at Empoli and quarter-finals: Sensi decisive in extra time

Eighths Coppa Italia: Nerazzurri immediately ahead with Sanchez, then Bajrami and Radu’s own goal send the Tuscans forward. Ranocchia finds the 2-2 in the 91st minute, then resolves the midfielder in the 104th minute

Soccer is strange at times and crowns unexpected heroes. Stefano Sensi does not escape the rule: the Inter midfielder, who seemed already destined for Sampdoria, enters and in the 104th minute solves the complicated eighth final of the Italian Cup with Empoli. It ends 3-2, after Ranocchia had found the 2-2 goal in the 91st minute.


Inzaghi confirms the massive turnover and in front he relies on the Argentine tandem Lautaro-Correa: Radu makes his seasonal debut in goal, the deputy Brozo – without Barella – is Vecino. But the game starts badly: after just two minutes Correa remains on the ground due to a muscle problem, after being loaded by Romagnoli. The Tucu comes out in tears, touching his left flexor: the first diagnosis is resentment in the left thigh flexors, but the trouble does not seem light according to the player’s expression. Enter Sanchez, the man who decided the Super Cup a week ago. And it is the Chilean himself who unlocks the game with the first lunge: minute 13, Dumfries brushes from the right and the Niño Maravilla returns, crushing the Nerazzurri advantage with his head to the edge of the pole. Empoli’s reaction is immediate: Radu heads out ahead of Cutrone on the edge of the area but the former Pinamonti doesn’t find time for the first goal, with the goal unguarded. Empoli (18 ‘) asks for a penalty (Vecino-Bandinelli contact) but for the Var we can continue. On the other hand, Dumfries nearly doubled with a powerful shot put in a corner by Furlan. The Tuscan team is strangely imprecise in the dribble, but Inter burns a couple of starts by missing the last support. After half an hour, it was goalkeeper Furlan who made a mistake, but then he overcame himself with a double big save on Lautaro. Gagliardini (40 ‘) tries a heel turn after a serpentine in Sanchez’s area, but the shot is blocked. It is the last chance of a first half with many individual errors.


The second half opens with a very occasional one for Ranocchia, good at anticipating everyone in the scrum but imprecise in the head turn, which ends up abundantly high. Then it is Empoli that becomes threatening with the newly entered Bajrami, who takes advantage of Darmian’s wrong disengagement to fly towards Radu but then shoots out of bounds. Empoli seems to have finally entered the game and the match immediately becomes more fun. The Tuscan phrasing begins to produce pitfalls and at 16 ‘the equal arrives. Asllani from the bottom fishing Bajrami, stop and left-handed razor to electrocute Radu. Inzaghi is petrified and without delay revolutionizes the team: in Barella, Calhanoglu and Perisic for Vecino, Vidal and Darmian. The message is clear: you need to find quality in the middle of the field to change the inertia of the match.


Inter rearranges itself and immediately touches the new advantage: Lautaro draws Sanchez, left first and still super Furlan to put in the corner. On the corner action it is D’Ambrosio who goes up to the sky, but without framing the door. The game is very lively, Empoli believes in the enterprise and attacks, Inter wants the quarters and attacks, but continues to hit a Spider-Man-sized Furlan. At 28 ‘the referee Sacchi makes a mistake, pointing to the spot after a Ranocchia-Dumfries pinball machine shot by Cutrone: but the Var is there to fix things. But Inter are in trouble and still give Cutrone a good chance for the Tuscan advantage, with Radu lifting over the crossbar. Paradoxical, but Empoli is in charge now and the goal arrives on time: Cutrone with his head hits the crossbar, the ball hits Radu’s shoulder and then on the heel, for the most sensational of own goals. Inzaghi also inserts Dzeko for Gagliardini and goes with a heavy trident, but Empoli does not tremble. Indeed he could close it twice if Cutrone did not miss the last pass in the open field. Fatal errors, which turns into mockery in the 90 ‘, when captain Ranocchia finds the 2-2 in a semi-reverse. Over? Not at all Dzeko has the knockout blow on his head but Furlan is still miraculous and Sanchez’s tap-in is irregular. We go to extra time.


At 94 ‘Inzaghi rebalances the team with Sensi for Lautaro. And it is Sensi himself the cover man: Romagnoli makes a mistake at the exit, then Sanchez serves the former Sassuolo, who beats Furlan with a great right. Virtually nothing happens: Inter in the quarterfinals where they will find the winner of Rome-Lecce.

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Inter never dies, 3-2 at Empoli and quarter-finals: Sensi decisive in extra time