AC Milan cruise into Italian Cup last eight
Even with Zlatan Ibrahimovic resting on the bench, AC Milan cruised past SPAL 3-0 on Wednesday to reach the last eight of the Italian Cup.
Later, Juventus took on Udinese without Cristiano Ronaldo who the club tweeted shortly before kick-off was suffering from sinusitis.
In Florence, Pol Lirola shot 10-man Fiorentina past Atalanta 2-1 to set up a quarter-final against Inter Milan.
In Milan, Krzysztof Piatek, who is reportedly on the verge of a move to Tottenham Hotspur, outpaced the sluggish SPAL offside trap to give the home team the lead after 20 minutes.
Samuel Castillejo curled a precise left-foot shot inside the far post just before half time.
Fullback Theo Hernandez added a third in the 66th minute, intercepting a pass, surging upfield and then smashing a left-foot shot inside the far post from just outside the penalty area.
In Tuscany, Spaniard Lirola collected Erik Pulgar’s long drilled pass before charging towards goal and slotting home his first Fiorentina goal six minutes from time, winning the tie for the hosts despite German Pezzella’s sending off 14 minutes earlier.
Patrick Cutrone also scored his first goal for the club when he put Fiorentina ahead in the 11th minute of his first start since arriving on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers last week.
The Italian laid the ball off to Dalbert, who pulled back a perfect pass that allowed the forward to stroke the ball into an empty net.
Atalanta should have been level when Mario Pasalic crashed Ruslan Malinovskiy’s cross against the bar from point-blank range.
The away side was much improved after the interval and went close twice around the hour mark. Pasalic was denied by the onrushing Pietro Terracciano before Robin Gosens hit Luis Muriel’s cross against the post with the goal at his mercy.
They scored their deserved leveller when former Fiorentina man Ilicic turned in another superb Malinovskiy cross.
Things grew tougher for the hosts when Pezzella was sent off after being caught driving and receiving a second yellow card, but Lirola won the tie to set up a tough match with Serie A title-chasers Inter.
Inter thumped Cagliari 4-1 on Tuesday. Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring after just 21 seconds and headed home another early in the second half to book Antonio Conte’s side a spot in the quarters.
Further goals from Borja Valero and Andrea Ranocchia helped Inter bounce back after a 1-1 home draw with Atalanta at the weekend that let Juventus take top spot in Serie A.
The winner of the last eight clash later this month will have a semi-final against either Lazio or Napoli who comfortably saw off second-tier sides Cremonese and Perugia on Tuesday.
Holders Lazio, who are on a club-record run of 10 straight wins in Serie A, made short work of Cremonese in their 4-0 victory in Rome.
Troubled Napoli eased into the quarters with a 2-0 win over Perugia thanks to two Lorenzo Insigne penalties.
Juventus host Udinese later on Wednesday, with Roma travelling to Parma on Thursday.
Torino is already in the last eight after beating Genoa on penalties last week.