Inter Milan maintained its push for a trio of trophies as it beat Juventus 1-0 on Wednesday to reach its second straight Italian Cup final.
Federico Dimarco scored the only goal of the match to help defending champions, Inter advance 2-1 on aggregate. The Nerazzurri will play either Fiorentina or Cremonese in the final on May 24 in Rome.
Inter plays AC Milan in the Champions League semifinals next month. It beat its city rival to win the Italian Super Cup in January.
“I can’t tell you the truth, but it doesn’t matter how I hit it,” Dimarco said with a laugh when asked if he had actually mishit his shot. “The important thing is that the ball went in. That’s what matters in the end.
“We’ve got through the Champions League quarterfinals, we’ve reached this final, we have to continue like this. This group is incredible, made up of boys who fight for this jersey every match and show what they’re worth.”
It was a largely mediocre performance from Juventus, which will have to swiftly bounce back as it is also in a European semifinal as well as being involved in a tight battle for the top four in Serie A and a place in next season’s Champions League.
“We need to recharge our batteries because in the past five league matches we have lost four of them,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. “We have the Europa League semifinal, from tomorrow we have to get back to work. We also have to defend third place, with AC Milan and Roma at our backs.”
Inter had Romelu Lukaku available after his suspension was overturned by the Italian soccer federation in a “statement against racism.”
Lukaku had picked up a second yellow card in the opening leg for provoking Juventus fans by holding his finger to his lips as if to silence the crowd after converting a stoppage-time penalty to snatch a 1-1 draw in Turin.
However, Lukaku — who is Black — had been subjected to repeated discriminatory chants.
The Inter forward was brought on as a second-half substitute at San Siro.
By that time Inter was already in front, having taken the lead somewhat fortuitously in the 15th minute.
Nicolò Barella’s through ball appeared to be for Edin Džeko but it reached Dimarco. The Inter defender scuffed his shot but it rolled into the back of the net, sending Juventus goalkeeper Mattia Perin the wrong way.
That seemed to wake Juventus up and it almost leveled 10 minutes from halftime but Inter goalkeeper André Onana pulled off a great save to palm Filip Kostić’s 20-yard effort away.
Džeko thought he had doubled Inter’s lead seven minutes after the break but it was ruled out for offside.
Dimarco almost helped his team to a second in the 73rd minute with a free kick that came off the wall and into the path of Henrikh Mkhitaryan but Perin pulled off a fantastic one-handed save to deny him at close range.