MILAN, Italy– Fabian
Ruiz scored the only goal as Napoli shocked Inter Milan 1-0 in their Italian
Cup semi-final, first leg tie in the San Siro on Wednesday.
The Spanish midfielder broke through after 57 minutes to get
Gennaro Gattuso’s side back to winning ways after their 3-2 league defeat at
home to lowly Lecce last weekend.
Ruiz picked up a Giovanni Di Lorenzo cross, beating three
Inter defenders to curl in past a helpless Daniele Padelli.
“This is the real Napoli. Big compliments to my
lads,” said Gattuso, whose side are 11th in the Serie A table.
But he warned: “There’s no reason to smile, we still
haven’t achieved anything yet.”
Antonio Conte’s side looked sluggish days after their
thrilling 4-2 derby win over AC Milan which put them top of the Serie A table.
Both sides had their chances in the first half with Lautaro
Martínez nodding wide with Padelli denying Piotr Zielinski just before the
break in front of a crowd of nearly 60,000 in northern Italy.
Conte sent on Cristian Eriksen after 65 minutes and the Dane
threatened but David Ospina held firm in the Napoli goal.
Napoli, who last won the trophy in 2014, now take a slim
advantage into the second leg at their Stadio San Paolo on March 5.
“The derby certainly took away a lot of energy,”
said Conte. “But we’re talking about Napoli, who beat Lazio, Juventus,
“It’s a team of substance despite its position in the
Record 18-time winners Juventus take on AC Milan in the
other semi-final on Thursday, again in the San siro.
The match will be the first clash in Italy between Juventus
star Cristiano Ronaldo and Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The final will take place in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on