Last updated 3 months ago | By Waweru Titus
Christian Eriksen’s magical corner kick that led to a goal against Napoli was not enough as Antonio Conte’s men were knocked of Coppa Italia on Saturday night.
Dries Mertens cancelled out Eriksen’s goal in the 41st minute to became the Napoli’s all-time record goalscorer.
The Belgian, in his seventh season at the club, took his goal tally to 122 in all competitions as he overtook Marek Hamsik, with legendary Diego Maradona third on 115.
The Gli Azzurri went through 2-1 on aggregate thanks to their 1-0 win at the San Siro four months ago before the coronavirus pandemic led to a complete shutdown of sporting events worldwide.
Napoli’s goalkeeper David Ospina was brilliant as he denied Romelu Lukaku and Antonio Candreva clear goalscoring opportunities in the first half.
Ospina also made an outstanding point-blank save to deny Eriksen a second goal and Victor Moses fired over from the rebound.
Inter substitute and former Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez sent a shot flashing past the goal.
Napoli will entertain Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus, in the much-awaited Coppa Italia final at the Stadio San Paolo on Wednesday (17/06/2020) night.
Inter coach Antonio Conte felt they deserved to reach the Coppa Italia final despite Napoli’s display in Naples.
Conte told Rai Sport after the game: "Looking at both matches, we deserved much more. In terms of the performance, I have very little to reproach the boys about.
“This is the football we want to play; we created a lot and were aggressive. Maybe we should have been more clinical in front of goal, but Ospina performed miracles.
"Their goal was disappointing because it was a careless situation that we could have avoided. But I'm satisfied because we're on the right path, we controlled the game against a strong Napoli team.
"My glass is half-full. We created numerous opportunities and had 18 efforts at goal. Ospina was the best player on the pitch.
"Obviously, we can improve, and we need to be more ruthless in the future, but I don't have anything to complain about in terms of desire and determination.
"We did what we'd worked on in training. It's disappointing for the lads not to qualify for the final because, based on what we did over the 180 minutes, we deserved to do so."
Inter now focus on a resumption of the Serie A season when they welcome Sampdoria next Sunday.
Facts according to Opta Data:
- Christian Eriksen has scored two of the past three away Inter goals in all competitions.
- Inter have scored six goals this season in the first five minutes of the game, more than any other Serie A side in all competitions.
- No side has conceded fewer goals than Napoli in the Coppa Italia 2019-20 (one).
- Napoli have reached the final of the Coppa Italia for the third time in the 21st century, facing Juventus on two of those occasions.
- Napoli have lost just one of their past eight games against Inter in the Coppa Italia (W3 D4), after losing four of their first five encounters with the Nerazzurri in the competition (D1).
- Dries Mertens has been involved in three goals (two scored, one assisted) in his past three games in all competitions, all played at the San Paolo.