Alexis Sanchez’s wonderful strike helped Inter reach the Coppa Italia semi-finals with a 2-0 victory over Roma.
Edin Dzeko opened the scoring against his old club with a neat volley inside the first two minutes at San Siro.
Then, Sanchez doubled the advantage midway through the second half with a magnificent effort from 25 yards.
It was enough to give Simone Inzaghi’s side a fourth victory in five meetings with their opponents at this stage of the competition.
2017 – Inter have kept the clean sheet in a Coppa Italia home match for the first time since December 2017 (0-0 against Pordenone back then, with the following victory after the penalty shoot-outs). Locked.#InterRoma #CoppaItalia pic.twitter.com/m74ugNKxv1
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) February 8, 2022
The third-highest scorer in Roma’s history behind Francesco Totti (307) and Roberto Pruzzo (138), Dzeko scored 119 goals in 260 appearances for the Giallorossi in all competitions between 2015 and 2021.
The Bosnia international came back to haunt his old club here, volleying home brilliantly from Ivan Perisic’s inviting cross.
Inter went close to doubling their lead as Nicolo Barella rattled the crossbar from distance, while Dzeko and Milan Skriniar saw headers saved by Rui Patricio.
At the other end, Samir Handanovic sprung into action with superb reflexes to deny Nicolo Zaniolo from the visitors’ first attack.
The hosts lost Alessandro Bastoni to injury just before half-time. Along with Inzaghi and Lautaro Martinez, the defender faced disciplinary action earlier in the day for his conduct during the derby defeat by Milan at the weekend.
On returning to his former club, Jose Mourinho and his Roma side threatened to find an equaliser after the break.
Jordan Veretout’s long-range effort was not too far off target, while Handanovic did brilliantly to scramble across and tip Sergio Oliveira’s deflected strike over the bar.
But Inter doubled their advantage and sealed the tie in emphatic fashion in the 68th minute, with Sanchez unleashing a rasping drive into the top left corner.