It's Udinese that move on to the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia, but not without first causing plenty of frustration to the home fans. The zebrette just haven't been clicking this season, and they demonstrated more of that on Thursday evening, failing to put their shots on target and even missing opportunities in front of an empty net. But Udinese move on by virtue of the fact that Inter have found themselves in a slump, and simply couldn't find the correct combination to get a goal.
The opening half hour was all Udinese, and so when the hosts took the lead, the only surprise is that they were able to link up and hit the target. Juan Pablo Carrizo made the mistake of coming out to try and rescue a ball Nico López rolled across the face of goal. Inter's second-choice keeper made a bit of a muddle of it, however, and Maicosuel was able to get behind Javier Zanetti to fire into the empty net.
The goal seemed to spur the visitors into action, and minutes later, a strike from Zdravko Kuzmanović smashed against the bar. Soon after, Maurizio Domizzi tugged down Diego Milito, but the referee waved away Inter's appeals for a penalty.
To start the second half, Walter Mazzarri brought on his trusted goal scorer Rodrigo Palacio to replace Gaby Mudingayi, joining Diego Milito up front. Fifteen minutes later, after further zebrette attacks resulted in Giampiero Pinzi missing an open net, Mazzarri was feeling the heat. He brought off Javier Zanetti in favor of Ricky Álvarez, hoping fresh legs might do the trick.
But Udinese still kept attacking. And somehow, kept not scoring. Carrizo batted away a shot from López that surely should've been turned in for a goal, but no bianconeri players could get a toe on it. With 15 minutes to go, Gabriel Silva took a rather speculative shot, despite having multiple players to pass to.
Inter turned the tables in the last 10 minutes, applying constant pressure to the Udinese defense. With just a few minutes left to play, Milito set up Fredy Guarín perfectly, but Guarín's shot went just wide. That attempt, more or less, summed up the nerazzurri play and the reason they've now bowed out of the Coppa.
Inter Milan: Carrizo; Campagnaro, Samuel, Andreolli; Zanetti (Álvarez 61), Guarín, Mudingayi (Palacio 45), Kuzmanović, Nagatomo; Kovačić (Botta 81); Milito