'We should have scored more goals in the first half,' says Inter Milan boss Simone Inzaghi after the 3-2 Coppa Italia win over Empoli

Stefano Sensi came off the bench to score the winner in the 104th minute and take Inter Milan to the quarter-final stage of Coppa Italia.

Stefano Sensi scored the winner as Inter Milan beat Empoli 3-2 in the Coppa Italian round of 16 fixture; Credit: Twitter/@Inter_en

Inter Milan boss Simone Inzaghi felt his team “should have scored more goals in the first half” after the 3-2 win over Empoli in the Coppa Italia round of 16 fixture at San Siro on Wednesday. Inter Milan opened the scoring through Alexis Sanchez early in the first half before Nedim Bajrami equalised for Empoli. And then, an own goal from Inter goalkeeper Ionut Radu put Empoli in front. But the hosts leveled the score courtesy of an acrobatic stoppage-time goal from Andrea Ranocchia. Stefano Sensi scored the winner in the extra-time to take Inter Milan to the last 8 stage.

“I think we’ve seen almost all the Round of 16 ties have gone to extra time. We knew Empoli were a quality team, we should’ve scored more in the first half and then lost our way a bit after the break,” Inzaghi told Sport Mediaset.

“Conceding the equaliser was a further blow, but we didn’t give up and managed to turn it around.”

Sensi came off the bench to score the winner in the 104th minute. The Italian midfielder received the ball from Sanchez on the edge of the box before unleashing a powerful strike past Jacopo Furlan. He was not expected to be at San Siro but came off the bench to secure the win for his side.

“Stefano deserved this evening, because he’s had very little space this season, but always trained hard. As long as he wears the Inter jersey, I will keep him in mind. If he stays, I’m more than happy to keep him, but he has to make some evaluations and decisions.

“We talked a lot, he’s a very intelligent guy and I am glad he scored the winner tonight. As long as he wears the Inter jersey, I am holding on tight to Stefano Sensi.”

Sanchez is a great player: Inzaghi

Sanchez came off the bench inside the opening five minutes because of an injury to Joaquin Correa. The Chilean opened the scoring with a well directed header in the 13th minute.

“I think Sanchez is a great player who started four of the last six and came off the bench in the other two, so he’s getting playing time and earning that with his performances.”.

Empoli equalised through Bajrami in the 61st minute. Kristjan Asllani pulled it back from the by-line and Bajrami controlled the ball with his chest before firing in from 14 yards out into the near bottom corner.

And then, Empoli took the lead in the 76th minute as Curtone’s header bounced off the crossbar and ricocheted into the net off goalkeeper Radu’s leg. Empoli looked set for an upset win over the Italian giants but then Ranocchia acrobatically slotted home past Furlan with a flying right-foot volley from 13-yards out to take the game to extra time. And then, Sensi scored the winner.

Sportslumo Desk

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