Both AC Milan and Inter Milan remained on course to meet in the final of the Coppa Italia as they both won their quarter-finals ties Wednesday. Two clinical first-half strike from Alexandre Pato helped AC Milan beat Sampdoria 2-1 while Inter needed penalties to get past Napoli.
Brazil forward Pato put the Rossoneri ahead after 17 minutes when he met Thiago Silva’s nod-down from a corner with a rasping first-time shot and doubled his side’s advantage five minutes later with a skilful turn and shot into the top corner.
Stefano Guberti gave the Sampdoria fans hope of forcing extra-time with an equaliser soon after half-time, but Massimiliano Allegri’s side held on to reach their first Coppa semi for four years and maintain their dreams of a treble.
Milan handed debuts to their pair of new Dutch midfielders, Mark van Bommel and Urby Emanuelson, and it was Emanuelson who impressed the most. The 24-year-old, signed from Ajax earlier in the week, supplied the pass to Pato for his second goal of the match.
Holders Inter rode their luck at Napoli to win on penalties after drawing 0-0 after extra-time. Ezequiel Lavezzi blasted over the only missed spot kick as Inter prevailed 5-4 on penalties and kept alive their dream of a second straight treble.
Hosts Napoli had much the better chances in the 120 minutes with Marek Hamsik going closest when his shot was saved and his subsequent header was cleared off the line.
Inter battled hard without much penetration and lost Dejan Stankovic and Ivan Cordoba to injury.
Juventus host Roma on Thursday in the last quarter-final. Palermo were the first team through to the last four after beating Parma on penalties on Tuesday will play AC Milan in one semi-final and Inter will play the winner of the Juventus v Roma tie.