Inter Milan beats Livorno in Italian Cup

Wesley Sneijder fired home a freekick to give Inter Milan a 1-0 win

over Livorno in the Italian Cup Wednesday that seals Inter’s place

in the quarterfinals.

The Dutchman curled a freekick past Livorno goalkeeper

Francesco Benussi in the 61st minute after Mario Balotelli had been

fouled.

In the quarterfinals Inter will play the winner of the match

between Juventus and Napoli that takes place on Jan.13.

“We deserved to win,” Inter coach Jose Mourinho said. “We

took the match seriously, we had no problems, kept our shape and

were controlled in defense.

“We had a couple of early chances come back off the post and

any team that has five or six goalscoring chances deserves to win.”

Inter dominated the game in the first half.

Midfielder Dejan Stankovic had two good chances early on. He

shot straight at Benussi with the first, whilst the second came

back off the post.

Midfielder Sneijder became the second player to hit the post,

when his freekick in the 32nd rebounded to safety.

Stankovic had another chance in the 36th, but shot over and

Balotelli shot wide from a good position two minutes before the

break.

After halftime Livorno again did the utmost to frustrate

Inter, but the hosts made a breakthrough in the 61st when Sneijder

found the net.

A minute later David Suazo wasted a chance to double the

lead. Sneijder put him clear behind Livorno’s defense, but Benussi

came off his line to smother the shot.

Livorno failed to test Inter and Federico Dionisi’s weak shot

in the 76th that Inter keeper Francesco Toldo comfortably saved was

the closest Serse Cosmi’s team came to scoring.

Substitute Diego Milito wasted a great chance late on to make

the result safe. The Argentine rounded Benussi but shot wide.

“I’m happy,” Mourinho said. “We didn’t have many problems and

we are in the next round.”