Inter limped into this match with its fans in a pretty bad place. They had just witnessed their side lose to Juventus in Serie A and were playing them again in the Coppa Italia after losing the first leg by three goals. Management had spend the last few days slamming the players for their poor efforts recently and demanding that they honor the shirt they wear when they step onto the pitch and put on a performance worthy of Inter. Boy did they do that...
Mancini pulled out a 433 for this match. Carrizo got the nod in goal for this cup tie, while given the suspensions of both Miranda and Murillo the backline was composed of Santon, D'Ambrosio, JJ, and Nagatomo. The midfield saw a combination of Brozovic, Medel, and Kondogbia, while the front three were made up of Perisic, Eder, and Ljajic (apparently Jovetic was expected to play this game but he suffered a slight injury on Tuesday.
Inter came flying out of the gates from the opening whistle and there immediately was a sense that this match would not end up the way the previous meetings between the two sides. Early pressure paid off as Inter scored their first goal in the 16th minute, a poor pass from Neto to Hernanes left the former Inter player uncomposed and Gary Medel tore through him to get to the ball. He then laid the ball off for Brozovic who scored his first goal of the evening. The home side kept their foot on the accelerator though and came agonizingly close to extending their lead a few minutes later when Ljajic cut in from the left and shot against the crossbar. Juventus tried to get a degree of control in the first half but were unable to ever test Carrizo.
As hard as Juventus tried, they were unable to stop Inter from doubling their lead on the night just four minutes into the second half. Mancini had switched to a 442 formation at the break after pulling Kondogbia (who had suffered a head injury and had to go to the hospital for tests) and replacing him with Biabiany and the move paid immediate dividends. Eder got free down the right flank and played in a cross for Perisic to tap home. At this point the San Siro was going wild with hope that this team could turn this two-legged tie around. Juventus finally seemed to wake up and Zaza finally got Juve's first real chance of the night in the 54th minute when his effort hit the post. Inter still had control of the match though and Ljajic and D'Ambrosio both threatened Neto's goal in response to Juve's effort.
Just as it looked like time might run out on Inter, they got their chance. Rugani brought down Perisic in the box and Brozovic slammed home the penalty to level the aggregate cup tie scoreline. The San Siro was rocking and it would only get louder in the final few minutes when Neto pulled off a brilliant save to deny Perisic from snatching a ticket to the final in stoppage time. Extra time saw Neto once again deny Perisic another goal while Carrizo finally had to work for his paycheck in the 120th minute pulling off a unbelievable double save on Morata. Unfortunately Palacio's penalty hit the bar which saw Inter's comeback fall just short after an incredible showing from the players.
This was without a doubt Inter's best performance of the season. The players ran themselves into the ground and really showed that they can be worthy of the Inter jersey. Honestly I am not even mad that the team is not going to the final in Rome because though the team didn't win the tie, they won back their pride and their morale. A win like this will be massive for the mentality of the team, they now know that they can win and win well against even the best team in the league if they work hard enough. This can be the catalyst for the push for 3rd place, we'll see on Sunday against Palermo if that will actually be the case or if this was just another one-off occurrence of Pazza Inter.