Inter had Nicolo Barella to thank as his rasping effort handed the Nerazzurri a 2-1 win over Fiorentina in their Coppa Italia quarter-final.
Antonio Candreva gave Inter the lead just before the break, before Martin Caceres levelled on the hour mark, but that lasted just seven minutes as Barella drove the home side back into the lead.
Christian Eriksen also made his Nerazzurri debut, coming on as a second half substitute to help Inter set up a semi-final match with Napoli which will be played over two legs.
There wasn’t much in the way of goalmouth action in the early stages of the game. Pol Lirola went close with a diagonal drive, but it shaved the wrong side of the upright.
At the other end, Alexis Sanchez had a header saved by Pietro Terricciano, as did Matias Vecino who had a go from range.
Just before the break, Inter took the lead when a seemingly innocuous ball round the back of the Fiorentina defence from Candreva, was pounced upon by Lautaro Martinez who took the ball away from the goalkeeper and into the path of the Nerazzurri No.87 who finished into the empty net.
Lautaro had three chance to double Inter’s lead in the second half, but put one into the side netting from a tight angle, then saw another effort deflect wide off Dalbert, before volleying over the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area.
Then Terracciano made a miracle save to turn a Vecino header round the post.
Parity was restored when Cacares out jumped Lautaro to head in an Erick Pulgar corner, just as the Inter fans were celebrating Eriksen making his way to the dugout to make his debut. That substitution was then quickly shelved by Antonio Conte.
Dusan Vlahovic should have given Fiorentina a lead when he was put in on goal by Federico Chiesa, but Samir Handanovic showed brilliant reflexes to beat the Serbian’s dinked effort away.
Eriksen did come on in the 66th minute, and although he wasn’t involved in the goal, Inter scored immediately with Barella blasting into the bottom corner from 18 yards out.
Inter did have the ball in the back of the net once again through Lautaro, but it was ruled out for an offside in the build up.