Inter Milan will meet Palermo in the Italian Cup final after a 1-1 draw with AS Roma sealed a 2-1 aggregate win on Wednesday, offering Leonardo’s side a ray of light after a disappointing few weeks.
Inter’s top scorer Samuel Eto’o bagged the opening goal of the night, taking his tally for the season in all competitions to 34, before Marco Borriello equalised for the visitors.
Palermo had booked their place in the May 29 final with a 4-3 aggregate success against AC Milan.
And it was a double celebration for Inter as captain Javier Zanetti played his 1,000th match as a professional.
In an uneventful first period, Roma had the better chances.
Borriello fired over from inside the box after a slip from Maicon had let him in.
And then Danielle De Rossi met a Simone Perrotta cross on the turn but couldn’t bend the ball inside the post.
On 19 minutes De Rossi set his sights again and sent a rocket from outside the area just past the corner of bar and upright.
There was a visible change of momentum in the second half as Inter hit back.
They took the lead on 58 minutes as Houssine Kharja crossed and Eto’o sent a precise side-foot through Perrotta’s legs and around Doni in the Roma goal.
Inter could have extended their lead when Giampaolo Pazzini determinedly bundled past Juan and John-Arne Riise but Doni made a stunning one-handed save from his fierce shot.
On 72 minutes Milito fashioned a chance as he turned inside a sliding challenge from Nicolas Burdisso but his left foot finish was weak and Doni saved with his feet.
Roma hit back, though, and Mirko Vucinic slipped a pass through to Borriello who shrugged off Lucio and smacked a right foot effort that hit both posts before rebounding to safety.
Full-back Marco Cassetti stung goalkeeper Julio Cesar’s fingers with a shot from distance before Roma equalised.
Perrotta crossed from the right and Borriello peeled off his marker at the back stick to send a towering header back across goal and in on 84 minutes.
But it was too little too late.
Milan, who sealed the scudetto at the weekend to end Inter’s five-year reign as champions, failed in their bid for a first domestic double when they lost 2-1 at Palermo on Tuesday.