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Late goal sends Inter Milan out of Coppa Italia

AC Milan hands Nerazzurri third straight loss, 1-0.

AC Milan v FC Internazionale - TIM Cup
Hakan Calhanoglu of AC Milan (R) competes for the ball with Joao Cancelo of FC Internazionale Milano during the TIM Cup match between AC Milan and FC Internazionale at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on December 27, 2017 in Milan, Italy.
Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

A late goal in extra time doomed Inter Milan to a 1-0 defeat to AC Milan in the quarterfinals of the Coppa Italia Wednesday.

Not only did the loss mark the exit out of cup play, but it was also the Nerazzurri’s third consecutive loss in all competitions. In the month of December, Inter has just two wins in their last six matches. Inter has scored six goals – five of which came in a win over Chievo – while giving up five – three of those coming against Udinese.

Patrick Cutrone’s goal in the 104th minute sent Inter out of the Coppa and left many questions about the play of the Nerazzurri leading into Saturday’s matchup with Lazio. The win avenges an early 3-2 loss the Rossoneri had against Inter earlier this season.

Throughout the game, Inter Milan was pressed on defense, but caused problems with their counter-attack. The biggest problem was the ability to finish crosses on target and maintain possession of the ball.

Joao Mario and Antonio Candreva each had opportunities while Ivan Perisic had a first half goal called back due to a questionable offside call on Andrea Ranocchia. For the third consecutive game, Mauro Icardi struggled to find any pace and failed to score – while barely touching the ball for most of the game.

Candreva had a strong opportunity in the 98th minute after maneuvering around a pair of Milan defenders, but his shot went right into the hands of Antonio Donnarumma as he had Icardi and Perisic in support.

AC Milan had limited opportunities early in extra time as a lone corner in the 100th minute yielded a goal kick as a shot on goal went wide of Samir Handanovic.

Two minutes later, Icardi seemed to have a good look at the top of the area, but was unable to maintain control of the ball. He poked the ball to Joao Cancelo who managed to put the ball out of play and give AC Milan a goal kick.

It was the 104th minute that all the mistakes and missed shots came back to haunt the Nerazzurri.

Cutrone – who came into the match in the 72nd minute -- took a long pass from Suso and pushed the ball right past Handanovic to give the Rossoneri a 1-0 lead.

To start the second extra time period, Marcelo Brozovic took a nice ball from Eder and placed it out of play as his attempted cross was too strong.

Inter seemed to press harder in the second extra frame as they maintained possession in their offensive half of the field.

Icardi had his first – and only – real attempt at the goal in the 114th minute when a cross from Eder seemed to find the mark, but Icardi’s header was off target and cleared away.

Joao Mario came up with a solid opportunity in the 60th minute, but his shot went off the arm of Donnarumma.

From there, Inter started to attack more on offense and step up the pace from the first half.

In the 63rd minute, Matias Vecino attempted a shot from beyond the box, but his attempt went wide.

In the 74th minute, AC Milan mounted an attack off a set piece, which was knocked back by the Inter defense. That allowed the Nerazzurri to counter-attack until Candreva attempted a cross into the area that deflected back to the Rossoneri.

Perisic nearly put Inter on the board in the 81st minute with a shot aimed for the lower corner, around Donnarumma, but it was too strong and went over the crossbar. Five minutes later, Perisic threatened Donnarumma again, but his effort was pushed aside and cleared out of play.

The Nerazzurri defense continued to hold off pressure from AC Milan. In the 88th minute, the Rossoneri mounted an attack led by Giacomo Bonaventura, but Andrea Ranocchia, Milan Skriniar and Cancelo cleared the danger before Samir Handanovic was called into action.

From there, Inter seemed plagued by poor passing as AC Milan was able to keep up the pressure thanks to turnovers in the midfield.

Inter had its first big chance early in the 24th minute when it appeared Perisic placed a cross off the foot of Donnarumma into the back of the net, but the shot was waived off by the video assisted referee after it was determined Ranocchia was offside.

Lucas Biglia took a few swipes at goal – including one in the 43rd minute – but his later attempt sailed well beyond the arms of Handanovic.

The first half closed with a pair of Inter corners that were unable to yield any attack on the net.

In the first half, the Nerazzurri held possession for 55% of the half.