Live Commentary: Inter Milan (3)2-3(5) Roma - as it happened

Inter boss Andrea Stramaccioni on the touchline during the Coppa Italia semi final match against Roma on April 17, 2013
© AP Photos
Sports Mole's live text commentary of Roma's decisive 3-2 victory over Inter Milan in a frantic Coppa Italia semi-final second leg with Inter Milan.

Roma travelled to the San Siro for tonight's Coppa Italia semi-final second leg against Inter Milan with a 2-1 aggregate lead.

Andrea Stramaccioni's side were bright early on and broke the deadlock when Jonathan finished a fine sweeping break featuring Ricky Alvarez and Tommaso Rocchi.

The visitors responded after the break as Mattia Destro's quickfire brace was followed by a strike from range by Vasilis Torosidis.

A late consolation from Alvarez proved academic as Roma qualified 5-3 on aggregate to set up a final against bitter rivals Lazio next month.


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7.02pmEvening Calcio fans. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for live coverage of the long-awaited Coppa Italia semi-final second leg between Inter Milan and Roma. Nearly three months after the first leg two of Italy's biggest sides will finally meet again tonight, with the prize for victory a place in next month's final against Lazio.

7.04pmRoma remain slight favourites to make the final an Eternal City derby as they defend a 2-1 lead at the San Siro tonight. With the final at the Olimpico next month there is ample incentive for Aurelio Andreazzoli's men to keep their quest for silverware alive this evening.

7.06pmMuch has changes since these two sides last met in January, with Inter decimated by a list of absentees that shows no sign of improving. Rodrigo Palacio, Diego Milito, Antonio Cassano and Walter Gargano are all long-term casualties for the Nerazzuri, who now look unlikely to secure European qualification with a top-five finish. That makes victory tonight imperative for Stramaccioni, with the manager's position under increasing pressure at the San Siro.

7.08pmTo compound Inter's problems they have a pair of players out tonight through suspension. Fredy Guarin and Alvaro Pereira must both serve a one-match ban this evening, with Nicolas Burdisso also suspended for the visitors.

7.10pmRoma took the opportunity to rest Daniele De Rossi and Francesco Totti last weekend ahead of tonight's tie, but still recorded a 2-1 win against Torino. That makes Andreazzoli's selection a tough one to call tonight, with Pablo Daniel Osvaldo the only forward option out through suspension.

7.12pmThe visitors must decide whether to gamble on De Rossi's fitness tonight, while Miralem Pjanic is also struggling to start with a knock. Success in this competition would go a long way to securing Andreazzoli the Roma job permanently, which should make a positive result his top priority despite their push for a top-five finish in Serie A.

7.15pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS! Word has just reached us from the San Siro that Totti, De Rossi and Destro all return to the starting XI for Roma tonight, while Tommaso Rocchi continues in attack for the home side. A full look at both teams will follow in just a few moments.

7.17pmROMA: Stekelenburg, Torosidis, Marquinhos, Castan, Marquinho, Bradley, De Rossi, Florenzi, Lamela, Totti, Destro

7.19pmINTER: Handanovic, Zanetti, Samuel, Ranocchia, Juan, Cambiasso, Kuzmanovic, Alvarez, Schelotto, Kovacic, Rocchi

7.22pmAny thoughts that Roma will field a more conservative lineup tonight to protect their 2-1 advantage have proved well wide of the mark. Erik Lamela is joined in attack by Totti and Destro, who makes his first start since returning from injury two weeks ago.

7.24pmQuite confusingly for neutral observers Marquinho and Marquinhos for Roma tonight, while De Rossi returns to partner Michael Bradley and Florenzi in central midfield.

7.26pmInter's options are limited to say the least, but Stramaccioni is able to recall Andrea Ranocchia in defence. Walter Samuel and Juan Jesus should start in central defence, with Ranocchia returning to provide cover for Pereira at full-back.

7.28pmRicky Alvarez continues in an advanced role behind Rocchi, who will be desperate to perform against Roma tonight after spending a large chunk of his career with bitter rivals Lazio. Ezequiel Schelotto is a slightly surprising inclusion in midfield, but with options depleted the 23-year-old is handed a chance to impress tonight.

7.30pmChristian Chivu is a notable inclusion among the Inter substitutes tonight, with Roma's bench definitely stronger thanks to presence of experienced duo Federico Balzaretti and Simone Perrota.

7.32pmAndreazzoli has decided that Pjanic is not fit to start tonight, but the playmaker will surely make an appearance if his side are chasing the game late on. A reminder that Roma will definitely qualify for the final if they avoid defeat thanks to a 2-1 lead carried over from January's first leg at the Olimpico.

7.35pmVeteran Inter skipper Javier Zanetti has admitted that his side are definitely the underdogs tonight but is adamant that they will give everything to keep their last hope of silverware this season alive.

The Argentine told Rai Sport: "We arrive at this appointment with a thousand difficulties, but we’ll do everything to reach the Final.

"I hope the result will go our way. We have to put in a great performance and make the most of the spaces that Roma will leave for us."


7.37pmTonight's result and performance will definitely have wider implications for Stramaccioni, who has been forced to defend his beleaguered squad in recent weeks. A shock 4-3 defeat at Atalanta was followed up by a 2-0 loss at Cagliari last weekend, leaving Inter seventh in Serie A. Failure to qualify for Europe will be nothing short of a disaster for the young coach and likely lead to a change of regime at the San Siro this summer.

7.39pmINJURY UPDATE! Things have gone from bad to worse for Inter before we even kick off at the San Siro tonight. Esteban Cambiasso has pulled up in some discomfort while warming up, wih the veteran midfielder now almost definitely out of tonight's clash. Official confirmation on his fitness and a possible replacement will hopefully come through in a matter of moments!

7.42pmCambiasso has been pulled out of the starting XI and replaced by Brazilian Jonathan. What a cruel blow for Inter just before kickoff, with their influential midfielder ruled out after pulling a muscle during the warm-up.

7.44pmPREDICTION! Unsurprisingly I'm going to back Roma to qualify the final tonight, but expect to see goals at both ends judging from tonight's attacking lineups. Expect Lamela to get back among the goals to set up the first all-Roman final in the Coppa Italia's history.

7.46pmBoth sides emerge in a San Siro that surprisingly sits more than half-empty for tonight's clash. Although the Coppa normally ranks as a low priority for Inter and Roma the competition now represents their only chance to win a trophy this season and secure a route into the Europa League. All to play for tonight, can Inter overcome a horrible injury list to reach the final? We will kickoff in just a matter of moments!

2 minRoma get the second leg underway in a changed all-white strip, shooting right to left. The hosts decide to keep possession deep for the first few minutes, with Bradley and De Rossi enjoying early touches in a central position.

5 minAlvarez shows a neat touch to beat two players early on, before deciding to try a show from at least 40 yards. A sign of the Argentine's confidence but his strike falls well wide. At the other end Handanovic is forced to make a late stop to deny Florenzi as his deflected cross is eventually scrambled to safety by Samuel.

7 minSamuel is quickly involved again as he concedes a free kick outside the penalty area. Totti takes for the visitors and drills a low strike straight to Handanovic, who is well placed to catch a central shot. Roma have made a confident start in possession in the early going.

9 minRanocchia aims a long diagonal ball in search of Rocchi, but his pass has too much power and floats through harmlessly to Stekelenburg. A brilliant change of pace from Kovacic drives the home side forward with purpose soon after, but the 18-year-old's pacy burst is eventually stopped by a fine block tackle from Castan.

11 minTotti just overhits a long pass to Destro, who had space in the final third but could not meet the curling cross. Zanetti soon wants a foul at the other end for Inter but the referee remains unmoved and tells the veteran to get up quickly. Both sides are yet to create a clear-cut opportunity in a match being played at a frenetic pace.

13 minRoma settle into a sustained period of possession as Marquinho strides forward, but his run ends just outside the area as he runs into the static Samuel after offloading. The Brazilian stays down injured to force a break in play.

15 minAfter a short break Marquinho returns to play but Inter are now the side with numbers forward in attack. Alvarez decides to shoot from range rather than pick out a pass, but his left-footed drive lacks power and accuracy and drifts well wide of the near post. Both sides just lack a cutting edge at this stage of the match.

17 minDestro just stays offside to end a positive forward burst from the visitors, with the forward to eager to dart inside Juan and meet a clever through ball from Totti. Inter are growing in confidence as Juan drives down the left wing to send in a dangerous cross, with Rocchi just failing to evade the challenge of Marquinhos at the near post.

20 minMarquinho is pressed into action again by a clever diagonal run from Alvarez, with the Roma defending intercepting to concede the game's first corner kick. A tame delivery into the neat post at the second attempt is easily cleared as a chance to test Stekelenburg goes begging for the home side.

22 minGOAL! Inter 1-0 Roma (Jonathan)

24 minA brilliant forward move full of attacking quality has seen Inter open the scoring and blow this tie wide open. Jonathan broke forward and played a clever pass to Alvarez, who played a clever flick inside. Rocchi then dropped off to deadly effect and found Jonathan's advanced run just inside the penalty area. The Brazilian shot first time from close range and made no mistake to find the far corner with a composed curling effort. A stunning goal from the home side, who now lead the tie on away goals in a miraculous turnaround.

26 minRoma look stunned after being ripped apart by an incisive attack. Jonathan was supposed to be on the bench tonight but after being drafted in following Cambiasso's injury the Brazilian has opened the scoring. More excellent play from Kovacic has Inter back in an attacking position, but Jonathan's defected cross is eventually hammered clear by Castan.

28 minFlorenzi drops deep and attempts to get the visitors back in possession, but a wayward long pass from Destro concedes possession quickly back to Inter. A reminder that Roma now have to score tonight or they will be knocked out of the Coppa Italia.

30 minDe Rossi angles a clever diagonal to Lamela, who waits to long while deciding to shoot or cross and allows Juan to clear with an important tackle. Inter take the chance to slow play down and maintain possession in midfield as Zanetti, Alvarez and Jonathan combine down the left flank.

32 minA woeful touch from Marquinho allows Inter to launch a break down the left through Alvarez. The Argentine is isolated and eventually sends a looping cross beyond the far post to safety. Roma quickly break down the other end as Lamela wins a corner kick for the visitors, their first of the evening.

34 minSHOT! A bullet drive from distance from Marquinhos has Handanovic beaten, but flies just wide after tacking a crucial deflection off Samuel. Lamela evades two challenges from the corner kick to recycle possession and win a third set piece in as many minutes for Roma.

36 minSAVE! Slack marking from the corner presents Roma with a cleat-cut chance to score at the back post. Destro takes charge and smashes a volley towards goal, but Handanovic is out quickly to save with his chest at full stretch. Finally sings of attacking intent from the visitors after a sloppy start.

38 minAn end-to-end encounter continues with Juan venturing forward for Inter from full-back. With little on in the final third he decides to shoot from range, with a low strike eventually falling inches wide of the far post. Chances at both ends in a matter of minutes as this tie comes alive before the break.

40 minDestro shows pace and purpose to drive out wide and exchange passes with Florenzi. After his hard work wins a throw off Ranocchia the visitors lack support in the final third as Destro's poor touch lets Inter off the hook with a goal kick.

42 minJonathan concedes a cynical free kick after deciding to stop Lamela's impressive forward burst with a late lunge. The Brazilian is lucky to escape without a caution, with Roma unable to create a chance from the set piece, which was at least 35 yards from goal.

44 minJust a minute later Marquinho is extremely fortunate not to be booked after blocking a run out wide from Alvarez without trying to win the ball. Roma have numbers forward but a very poor pass inside from Lamela fails to pick out Florenzi, who had taken up a promising position unmarked just inside the penalty area. That just sums up a frustrating first period for Andreazzoli's side.

45 min+1SAVE! Roma have just about been kept at bay just before the break by a fantastic sprawling stop from Handanovic. Totti found Florenzi with a perfectly weighted pass inside the penalty area, but the midfielder's powerful sidefoot drive was turned wide by a superb save.

8.36pmHALF-TIME Inter 1-0 Roma (2-2 on aggregate)

8.38pmA pulsating 45 minutes comes to end with Inter firmly back in the tie, thanks to a wonderfully-worked goal from Jonathan. The home side have risen to the challenge of playing without a string of senior squad members tonight and will qualify for the Coppa Italia final on away goals as things stand.

8.40pmRoma lacked urgency in the early stages, perhaps a sign of complacency after arriving at the San Siro with a 2-1 lead. Despite a poor start the visitors were largely untroubled until Alvarez, Rocchi and Jonathan combined to break the deadlock with a sweeping Inter counter.

8.42pmAndreazzoli's side must score to stay alive in the cup and came agonisngly close before the break through Florenzi. That attack was the first time Totti influenced play all night. Roma need their talisman to get things going in the second half, with Lamela largely isolated too often in the first period.

8.44pmStramaccioni must be delighted with his patched-up side, who have shown hunger and plenty of attacking intent to take control of the tie. Alvarez looks a completely different player to the frustrated, inconsistent playmaker of early this season, while Kovacic has shown composure beyond his years in midfield.

8.47pmDespite a positive 45 minutes Inter have Handanovic to thank for their advantage. The home side have been carved open twice so far tonight, but the giant keeper produced a pair of fine saves to maintain his clean sheet. If the Nerazzurri are to progress you feel the Slovenain will be forced into action regularly when play resumes for the second half.

8.49pmRocchi must also have gone a long way to proving his numerous critics wrong tonight with a first-half performance full of industry. The experienced forward also had the presence of mind to find Jonathan with a flick inside the opening goal in an impressive display.

47 minSUBSTITUTION! Roma have made a change at the break, with Balzaretti on to replace Florenzi. The visitors are straight on the defensive as we resume play, with Castan just doing enough to stop a quick Inter attack.

49 minSHOT! Totti fires wide with a dipping dive from 20 yards as Roma attack with purpose early in the second half. The captain had space after a precise pass inside from Destro, but his strike had too much swerve and just fell wide of the near post.

51 minInter settle in possession as Kuzmanovic gets involved to meet a long pass out wide from Juan. His cross is cleared by Castan and as play is cleared Juan takes an unfortunate elbow to the ribs in a challenge with Lamela, forcing a break in play for treatment.

53 minBradley attempts to find Marquinho with a clever lofted pass out wide. The full-back bursts forward but Handanovic is quick off his line to intercept and shows composure to clear upfield under pressure. The referee is then forced to intervene as De Rossi and Alvarez tangle in midfield.

55 minBLOCK A wonderful last-ditch block from Samuel has just stopped Roma equalising. The ball broke to Torosidis in the penalty area, with the full-back cannot control a bouncing ball quickly despite having time and space. Samuel launches a desperate late challenge and does just enough to divert the Greek international's volley wide from close range.

57 minGOAL! Inter 1-1 Roma (Destro)

59 minRoma are level and back in charge of the tie after a wonderful finish from Destro. The forward beat a static offside trap and with time to pick his spot sends a deft chip over the lunging Handanovic, with his strike trickling over the line despite Samuel's efforts on the line. What a moment for the returning striker, with the visitors now back ahead in the tie.

61 minThe visitors are quickly back in the final third as Schelotto concedes a corner kick under little pressure attempting to clear Balzaretti's diagonal pass. A deep cross is cleared with ease by the home side, who must now score to qualify in the final 30 minutes.

63 minYELLOW CARD! Juan picks up the game's first caution for a needless late lunge on Destro out wide. That is the Brazilian defender's 14th caution of the campaign and gifts Roma a dangerous free kick, which Totti will take.

65 minTotti's cross is headed clear by Schelotto, but only as far as Marquinhos, whos drives well over with a powerful effort just outside the box. Inter are quick to break at the other end and win a corner kick as Schelotto drives down the right wing and forces Castan to concede the set piece. With numbers in the penalty area Intet's cross is a huge disappointment and fails to beat the first defender.

67 minSUBSTITUTION! Inter make their first change to inject fresh legs into a congested midfield battle. Schelotto is replaced by 18-year-old Marco Benassi, who makes his first appearance in over a month.

69 minKovacic drives down the middle and beats two defenders before sending a ball inside to Rocchi. Roma defender Castan reads the danger and is across quickly to clear with an important late interception. At the other end Lamela and Torosidis combine down the right wing, but after cutting inside the latter's cross is played behind Destro and cleared by Jonathan.

71 minGOAL! Inter 1-2 Roma (Destro)

73 minRoma are surely through to the Coppa Italia final after brutally exposing the home side with a incisive counter. Balzaetti caught Juan by surprise and picked out Destro with a clever cutback across the six-yards box. The forward make no mistake to tap home unmarked and put his side 4-2 up on aggregate. Inter now need three goals to turn the tie around after a sweeping break from Andreazzoli's side.

75 minSUBSTITUTION! Almost immediately after doubling his tally Lamela is replaced by Dodo, who will take up a wide position as Roma look to play out the final 15 minutes. Inter look deflated and concede free kick as Dodo is brought down by Jonathan.

77 minGOAL! Inter 1-3 Roma (Torosidis)

79 minOut of almost nothing Torosidis has burst forward to confirm Roma's place in the Coppa Italia final. The Greek full-back was surrounded by three defenders but as the ball sat up he decided to volley from range. His looping strike beat a desperate late lunge from Handanovic to find the top corner and put the visitors 5-2 ahead on aggregate.

81 minSUBSTITUTIONS! Roma have been absolutely ruthless since the break and are now in the fortunate position of being able to rest key players in the closing stages. Lamela is wirhdrawn 10 minutes from time, with Taddei brought on in an advanced position. Inter have also brought on another youngster in Forte, who replaced Kuzmanovic.

83 minGOAL! Inter 2-3 Roma (Alvarez)

85 minAlvarez has just scored the first of four goals Inter require to complete a miraculous comeback. His scuffed strike from 20 yards lacked power but completely deceived Stekelenburg to find the far corner. De Rossi had the chance to block but made the poor decision to let the low strike run through to his goalkeeper. That is the Argentine's fifth goal in his last seven games.

87 minSHOT! With Inter committing bodies forward the visitors have just gone within inches of extending their advantage. Dodo broke out wide and found Totti with a precise pass inside. After cutting inside the veteran smashed a low strike just beyond the far post under pressure.

89 minYELLOW CARD! Jonathan gets a long overdue caution after bringing Dodo down to prevent another Roma break. Inter use the break to bring Belloni on for his full debut, with Ranocchia withdrawn. From the resulting free kick Roma create another chance as Dodo forces Handanovic to save at the second time of asking with a powerful strike.

90 min+1Dodo just fails to control a clever lofted pass towards the far corner from De Rossi as Roma keep the ball with relative ease in stoppage time, with the fourth official indicating there will be four added minutes.

90 min+3A brilliant first touch from Marquinho deceives two defenders after Totti's forward pass, but the midfielder is crowded out by three Inter players as he drives towards goal. Inter break forward at the other end through Forte, who lashes wide from a tight angle.

9.40pmFULL-TIME Inter Milan (3)2-3(5) Roma

9.42pmA breathless encounter ends with Roma qualifying after a spirited second-half fightback. Mattia Destro's brace proved decisive as Aurelio Andreazzoli's side set up the first ever all-Roma cup final against Lazio next month.

9.44pmA third successive defeat will hurt Stramaccioni after his side had lead at the break. Inter now face a huge fight to secure European football with a top-five finish in Serie A as their season continues to unravel.

9.46pmThat just about does it for Sports Mole's Coppa Italia coverage this evening. Thank for joining us and be sure to check back in for comprehensive Serie A coverage this weekend. Goodnight.

Roma's Francesco Totti celebrates with team mate Pablo Osvaldo after scoring the opener against Juventus on February 16, 2013
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1AC Milan11003033
2Inter Milan11003033
3Juventus11003033
4Napoli11003123
5AC Chievo VeronaChievo11002113
6Sampdoria11002113
7Roma11001013
8Bologna10101101
9Torino10101101
10Genoa10100001
11Lazio10100001
12SPALSPAL10100001
13SassuoloSassuolo10100001
14BeneventoBenevento100112-10
15Udinese100112-10
16Atalanta BCAtalanta100101-10
17Hellas VeronaHellas Verona100113-20
18CagliariCagliari100103-30
19Crotone100103-30
20Fiorentina100103-30
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