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Sampdoria routs Inter 3-0 in Italian Cup

SERIE A leader Inter Milan was routed 3-0 by Sampdoria in the first leg of the Italian Cup semifinals yesterday, a week before facing Manchester United again in the Champions League.

Giampaolo Pazzini scored twice for Sampdoria, which finished with 10 men.

Inter drew the opening leg 0-0 with United last week and also played to a 3-3 draw with AS Roma on Sunday.

Antonio Cassano put Samp ahead nine minutes in after Inter defender Nelson Rivas gifted him the ball just outside the area. Cassano dribbled in alone and chipped the ball in over charging goalkeeper Francesco Toldo.

Pazzini made it 2-0 on the half hour, heading in after a corner kick bounced around the area, then scored again in the 42nd by knocking in a rebound on a counterattack started by Cassano.

Pazzini has scored seven goals since joining Samp from Fiorentina in January.

Sampdoria defender Daniele Gastaldello picked up his second yellow card in the 59th for tripping Inter forward Mario Balotelli.

Inter coach Jose Mourinho's 4-3-3 lineup spearheaded by Amantino Mancini, Adriano and Balotelli failed to produce any scoring chances in the first half.

Hernan Crespo came on for Inter in the 60th and provided a spark with a couple of dangerous headers as rain picked up.

Balotelli was carried off on a stretcher in the 65th after apparently injuring himself when he leaped into the post.

Inter striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and first-choice goalkeeper Julio Cesar sat out.

Lazio beat Juventus 2-1 in the other semifinal on Tuesday. The return legs are scheduled for April 21 and 22, with the final on May 13 in Rome.


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