MILAN, Italy– Lorenzo Insigne shot Napoli into the semi-finals of
the Italian Cup on Tuesday with the only goal in an eventful 1-0 win over
Italy international Insigne needed
just 99 seconds to score the goal that won a match that saw both teams have a
player sent off and Ciro Immobile miss a penalty in the first 25 minutes.
The win for Napoli, which comes
after three straight defeats in Serie A, means they will face either league
title-chasers Inter Milan or Fiorentina, who face off on January 29 at the San
Holders Lazio meanwhile did
everything but score on a night when both teams hit the woodwork several times,
with Immobile having a rare off night in a season that has seen him score 26
goals in all competitions.
Insigne showed some of the
sparkling form that has been lacking this season when he opened the scoring,
weaving past Luiz Felipe before slotting home a neat finish.
The away side quickly shook off
the cobwebs though and quickly had a Sergej Milinkovic-Savic shot pushed away
before Elseid Hysaj kicked Felipe Caicedo in the box as the
Ecuadorian dived for a 10th-minute header.
However Immobile let Napoli off
the hook by slipping as he was about to kick the resulting penalty, which
finished in the running track behind the goal.
Things looked to be turning
towards Lazio when Hysaj, already booked for his challenge on Caicedo,
clattered into Immobile as the striker raced away and picked up a deserved
second booking with less than 20 minutes gone.
But with Napoli facing over 70
minutes a man down, referee Davide Massa soon levelled the playing field by
inexplicably booking Lucas Leiva for a fine tackle on Piotr Zielinski, before
quickly flashing another yellow card at the livid Brazilian for dissent.
Lazio dominated the early stages
of the second half, with Immobile having a goal ruled out for offside, but it
was Napoli who came closest to scoring with 20 minutes left when Arkadiusz
Milik’s header was tipped onto the post by Thomas Strakosha.
Immobile then compounded a poor
night by smashing a presentable opportunity onto the bar with six minutes
remaining, before Mario Rui responded seconds later by curling his own shot off
Simone Inzaghi was left bemoaning
his team’s poor luck again when Manuel Lazzari’s deflected shot hit the
woodwork and fell to Francesco Acerbi, who was ruled offside after lashing home
on the rebound as the hosts held on for a big win.
Lazio’s local rivals Roma travel
to Juventus on Wednesday, while AC Milan host Torino on January 28.