Lazio secures Juve Cup quarter,Milan overcomes Sampdoria

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MILAN: Serie A strugglers Lazio overcame a stunning opener by Panagiotis Kone to claim a 2-1 win over Udinese on Thursday (Friday in Manila)) and book an Italian Cup quarterfinals with holders Juventus.

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Elsewhere, M’Baye Niang and Carlos Bacca hit second-half goals as AC Milan ended Sampdoria’s interest in the competition with a 2-0 win in Genoa.

Lazio coach Stefano Pioli is said to be barely hanging on to his job after seeing his side slip to 12th in Italy’s top flight, 16 points behind leaders Inter Milan.

And the Italian looked a worried man in the 67th minute when Kone showed great control to collect a cross from deep on the left wing before turning and beating Etrit Berisha with a superb volley at the ‘keeper’s far post.

Alessandro Matri rescued Lazio with an equaliser that looked slightly offside three minutes later, with Danilo Cataldi heading a 79th-minute winner when Udinese ‘keeper Alex Meret spilled a shot in front of goal.

Lazio suffered defeat to Juventus in last season’s final and Pioli said: “It was a great reaction by the lads, they’ve been frustrated but we took the game to them after conceding the opener.

Juventus booked their last-eight spot with a resounding 4-0 win over city rivals Torino on Wednesday when Simone Zaza hit a brace and Paulo Dybala and Paul Pogba were also on target for last season’s double winners.

Napoli set up an exciting last-eight tie with Inter after a 3-0 win over Serie A basement side Verona at the San Paolo on Wednesday.

The quarterfinals will be without two leading Serie A sides, however, as Roma and Fiorentina fell to unheralded opposition.

Roma fell 4-2 on penalties to Spezia after failing to find a way past the second division side after extra time at the Stadio Olimpico.

Fiorentina, who sit four points behind Inter in Serie A, suffered a 1-0 upset to second-from-bottom Carpi, for whom Antonio Di Gaudio scored a 76th-minute winner.

Spezia will now meet third-division Alessandria, who beat top-flight Palermo a fortnight ago and stopped Genoa’s progress on Tuesday with a 2-1 extra-time win.

Sinisa Mihajlovic was under pressure before leading AC Milan to former club Sampdoria in the final last 16 tie on Thursday.

French striker Niang broke the deadlock five minutes after the restart and, after Ervin Zukanovic saw red for dissent when he was booked just after the hour, Carlos Bacca struck an injury-time second goal for the visitors.

AFP

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