Holders Inter Milan out of the Coppa Italia after Bologna’s extra-time comeback

By Sports Desk December 20, 2023

Inter Milan conceded twice in the last eight minutes of extra-time as their grip on the Coppa Italia came to an end with a 2-1 defeat to Bologna.

Lautaro Martinez had a penalty saved as normal time ended goalless, before Carlos Augusto headed hosts Inter into a 92nd-minute lead.

But Sam Beukema and Dan Ndoye struck in a dramatic turnaround as the back-to-back cup winners were dumped out at the quarter-final stage for the first time since the 2018-19 season.

Inter’s Marko Arnautovic tried his luck from range but his sixth-minute effort went wide in a cagey start.

Bologna responded with a chance of their own in the 18th minute when Giovanni Fabbian’s shot grazed the outside of the post.

Inter pushed for an opening but were being held off by a stubborn Bologna.

The closest they got in the first half was when Davide Frattesi went down under a challenge but his penalty appeals were waved off.

Inter came out fast after the break and came close in the 49th minute through the dangerous Fratessi.

The goalscoring midfielder lost his marker and met Alessandro Bastoni’s cross, but he failed to connect with the ball properly.

Simone Inzaghi’s side had kept four successive clean sheets prior to this match and their quality showed as their tight back three and hard working midfield stifled any Bologna attack.

But at the other end Martinez missed a golden opportunity to give Inter the lead in the 65th minute.

Bologna’s Tommaso Corazza was deemed to have handled the ball in the box following a corner but Martinez’s placed effort was saved by Federico Ravaglia.

The striker had scored 17 in all competitions up to that point and failed to add to his tally as Inter’s frustrations grew.

The Argentina international was keen to make up for his miss when he drove with the ball before shooting from range, but his shot sailed just over the Bologna crossbar.

The stalemate remained at full-time, but Inter finally broke the deadlock just two minutes into extra-time.

Federico Dimarco’s corner picked out Augusto who rose highest and nodded his effort home.

But the visitors responded eight minutes from time when Joshua Zirkzee flicked on a corner to the charging Beukema who smashed home from close range to make it 1-1.

And Bologna grabbed another in the 116th minute.

Zirkzee produced another moment of brilliance to beat his man in midfield before he threaded a pass through to Ndoye, who casually chipped Emil Audero to give his side a 2-1 win.

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