Inter vs Empoli 3-2: Sampdoria-Bound Sensi Inspires Comeback

After yet another intense fixture within this season’s Round of 16 of the Coppa Italia, Inter have prevailed over Empoli in a thrilling comeback victory at the San Siro in order to advance to the Quarter-Finals of the domestic tournament.

Sanchez Proves His Worth to the Nerazzurri

Within the opening minutes of the fixture, Inter established control over Empoli within the cup tie as Inzaghi’s men circulated the ball in a swift fashion and built out of the back with dynamism and flare. Unfortunately, the Nerazzuri suffered a huge blow as Joaquin Correa was forced off the pitch within the fifth minute of the fixture due to injury.

As a result, Inzaghi put on Alexis Sanchez with the hopes of the Chilean veteran increasing his goal-scoring account this season with the Italian giants. Fortunately for Inter, Sanchez rose to the occasion and seized his opportunity in a splendid manner.

In the 13th minute, Auturo Vidal distributed a brilliant pass out-wide for Denzel Dumfries. The Dutch full-back ran down the flank and distributed an exquisite cross for Sanchez within the center of the box. The Chilean soared up in the air and buried the ball into the low-corner with an impressive header, handing Inter the early lead against Empoli.

After Sanchez breaking the deadlock against the Azzurri, Inzaghi’s men were in total control of the fixture as Inter dictated the game through their quick one-two combinations through the middle, along with their long-balls into space along the flanks.

Within the 28th minute of play, Vidal intercepted a poor goal-kick and played the ball upfront for Roberto Gagliardini, who distributed a sublime pass for Lautaro Martinez. The young Argentine was on the break, but both of his attempts were miraculously stopped by Jacopo Furlan’s impressive double save, forcing the first half to end with only a one goal difference between both sides.

Bajrami and Cutrone Run Riot

Within the second half, Aurelio Andreazzoli wasted no time to make tactical adjustments as the Italian tactician subbed on his prized jewel Nedim Bajrami immediately after the break.

As the second half began, it was Empoli who were on the front foot as they began possessing the ball within Inter’s final third with urgency, pushing with all their might in order to obtain the equalizer.

Within the 61st minute, Kristjan Asslani launched well-weighted cross within the box for Bajrami. The young Albanian remained cool as cucumber and struck an incredible volley past Ionut Radu into the bottom-right corner, handing Empoli the equalizer within this critical fixture.

Immediately after conceding a goal, Inzaghi turned towards the bench and put on Ivan Perisic, Hakan Cahalanoglu, and Nicolò Barella. Despite an improvement in Inter’s innovation within the final third, the Nerazzurri were not clinical enough.

Danilo D’Ambrosio’s shot from outside the box went over the frame of the goal and Dumfries’ shot towards the second post went narrowly wide. As a result of Inter failing to capitalize on their opportunities, Empoli took advantage and shifted the momentum within their favor.

Within the 76th minute, Bajrami distributed a marvelous cross in between two Nerazzurri defenders towards Patrick Cutrone. The Italian striker connected very well and scored a fantastic header, deflecting off of the crossbar and Radu before entering the back of the net to provide Empoli the lead over the league-leaders.

Inter Outcasts Save the Day

With only 15 minutes remaining, Inzaghi’s men remained focused as they stuck to the game plan in order to avoid a shocking elimination from the domestic cup. The Nerazzurri midfielders kept launching through balls into space along the sidelines with the hopes of stretching the opposition.

Perisic was significant threat within the dying minutes of the game as the Croatian wing-back dominated the wings through his fantastic dribbling skills and excellent deliveries into the box. Unfortunately for his sake, his teammates failed to convert his crosses as Edin Dzeko’s header went over the goal and Dumfries’ attempt on goal was blocked by the Empoli defense.

Within the 90th minute of the game, Dzeko capitalized on a loose rebound after Empoli’s goalie saved Dumfries’ header off a corner kick. The veteran striker guided the ball towards Andrea Rannochia, who controlled it brilliantly with the use of his chest and scored an outstanding volley to save the Nerazzurri in order to force the game into extra-time.

Throughout the first half of extra-time, Inzaghi made an audacious substitution as the Italian mastermind switched off Lautaro Martinez for the Sampdoria-bound midfielder Stefano Sensi. Despite his series of rough patches this season as a Nerazzurri, the midfield-misfit proved that not all heroes wear capes.

Towards the end of the first half of fifteen minutes, Sanchez diced a brilliant pass for Sensi at the top of the box. The Italian midfielder weaved through the opposition and scored a venomous strike into the top-left corner to seal the victory and launch Inter into the Quarter-Finals of the Coppa Italia.