Napoli won the Coppa Italia first-leg semifinal against Inter Milan 1-0 on the back of a delightful goal from Spanish midfielder Fabian Ruiz, who scored the only goal of the match. After a goalless first-half, Ruiz overcame a one-two challenge from Giovanni Di Lorenzo to score in the 57th minute.
The first-half produced a few chances for both teams but neither could break the deadlock. Marcelo Brozovic came close to scoring but his shot at goal was kept out by David Ospina. Inter’s Lautaro Martinez also came close to scoring but his header off a Cristiano Biraghi’s cross went above the goalpost.
On the verge of the half-time whistle, Napoli threatened with what was probably their best chance Wednesday night at San Siro when Dries Martens came close to a one-on-one scenario with Ospina, only for Jose Callejon to intercept for the ball to ricochet off for a goal kick.
12 minutes into the second-half, Lorenzo’s pass was collected will by Ruiz, who curled in a kick from the edge of the box for the ball to beat a diving Daniele Padelli. Antonio Conte bringing in Martinez, Stefano Sensi, Alessandro Bastoni, Victor Moses and Biraghi but was booked in the second-half for an angry outburst against a free kick awarded to Napoli.
“Napoli came here to play a very defensive game, with Dries Mertens marking Marcelo Brozovic and all the spaces closed up,” Conte told Rai Sport. “In some cases, we need to be faster at moving the ball around and seeking a one-on-one situation, which we could’ve done better. In any case, I congratulate Napoli, as their strategy evidently paid off, seeing as they won.
“The derby took away a lot of energy, both physical and especially psychological. I made five changes from Sunday to bring in fresh legs, but Napoli beat Juventus, Lazio and Liverpool this season, so that means they’ve got quality there. I’d say that, after Juventus, Napoli have the most impressive.”