Roma Primavera reach Coppa Italia final after seeing off Inter once again

Corriere dello Sport (Andrea Ramazzotti) Roma have beaten Inter once again (it’s 4 out of 4 now in 2016/17) and have reached the final of the Coppa Italia, where they will face surprise finalists Virtus Entella. After winning the first leg 1-0 at home, the Giallorossi knew that a draw would be enough to take them through, and it seemed like that’s how it would end until stoppage time in the 2nd half when Tumminello scored to make it 2-1, sparking off the celebrations of De Santis and co.

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The defeat was harsh on Vecchi’s side, who were the better team in the first half and had they taken the lead it would have been deserved, but there’s no doubt that De Rossi had the better, tougher and more prepared side. Yesterday, on a pitch that was barely playable (the ground was very hard – one side of the pitch was visibly icy and risked the players’ safety), Roma struggled for 45 minutes, playing too cautiously and ending up unable to get out of their own half. Pinamonti and his team-mates did well to play with a high level of intensity as they tried to hit back after 3 successive defeats (in the Supercoppa, the league and the first leg of the semi-final) where they had failed to score. While in the past they hadn’t created much, this time they were unlucky (Danso hit the crossbar) and were denied by some great saves from Crisanto before Pinamonti finally (uselessly) scored.

The Giallorossi keeper kept his side in the game, denying Rover (twice) on the rare occasions that he was able to find some space away from the excellent Ciavattini and Marchizza. The absences of suspended players had less of an effect on Vecchi (who was missing Carraro and Vanheusden) than De Rossi, who had to do without Bordin and played Grossi (a defender) in midfield instead. The Nerazzurri midfield had the better of it against the Giallorossi’s, and Rivas and Danso were so effective that Keba was continually forced back; Roma’s 4-3-3 soon became a more cautious 4-4-2. But, despite Pinamonti doing well in his role playing off Rover, Inter couldn’t take the lead, not even when their opponents had to replace the injured Spinozzi with the Croatian Anocic.

In the second half Roma came out with more conviction and found it easier to control territory, because Inter were resorting to long balls up to Pinamonti. When the Nerazzurri tried to go for broke by putting Bakayoko on for Danso (changing to a 4-2-4), they looked even more comfortable. In fact, it was they who took the lead after a mistake by Gravillon which let in Tumminello, who unselfishly set up Soleri to make it 1-0. Pinamonti’s fine goal to make it 1-1 (from the first cross they put in against the champions) and Crisanto’s subsequent save from Bakayoko made the end of the game more interesting, but the result was sealed in injury time by Tumminello following another error from Gravillon (Di Gregorio was also poorly positioned). It was the 4th goal (plus an own goal that he provoked) in his last 8 games for the striker, who is now regularly in contention for a place in Spalletti’s first team squad.

Roma thus made it into the final, while the Nerazzurri’s defence of their title that they won against Juventus in San Siro last year is now over. The Giallorossi have now beaten them in their last 5 meetings (including their scudetto semi-final in 2015/16) and are very much Vecchi’s bete noir. They next meet in the league on 11th February, and that may not be the last time they play this season – watch out for another meeting in the play-offs at the end of the season as Inter dream of taking their revenge by winning the title.

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