Coppa Italia


Gennaro Gattuso had praise for his team after they progressed to the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia with a scintillating first-half display against Spezia.

The Azzurri ran up a 4-0 lead in the first 40 minutes courtesy of goals by Kalidou Koulibaly, Hirving Lozano, Matteo Politano and Eljif Elmas before the visitors reduced the arrears in the second period.

“We deserved to go through and I thanked the lads for their performance,” the boss said following the final whistle.

“We played well tonight and, unlike when we played Spezia in the league, this time we took nearly all our chances to score. The same thing might have happened in Verona if we'd been able to get the second.”

The coach went on to discuss recent speculation regarding his future and the injury situation at the club.

“I've been in this game for many years and I know it all comes down to results, but I do my job with commitment and professionalism. This team has tremendous potential and we still need to get some important players back.

“I brought [Victor] Osimhen and [Dries] Mertens on in the second half to get minutes in their legs. They're key players for us and we haven't been able to use them much due to injury.

“I'm not looking for excuses but any team would find it hard if they lost two forwards of that calibre – even the sides at the top of the league.

"I'm quite calm and the president's comments were reassuring. Now we need to look forward and keep working hard without anxiety.”

(Photo Getty Images)