MILAN (Reuters) - AC Milan alleviated their crisis when Patrick Cutrone gave them a 1-0 extra-time win over neighbours Inter Milan in their Coppa Italia quarter-final on Wednesday.
Milan’s third-choice goalkeeper Antonio Donnarumma, the older brother of regular keeper Gianluigi, played a key part on his debut for the club.
Gianluigi Donnarumma was ruled out with an injury on Wednesday morning and second-choice Marco Storari, 40, pulled out during the warm-up.
Both teams had lost their last two Serie A games and big-spending Milan were in crisis mode after dropping to 11th in the table, sixteen points behind third-placed Inter.
Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso said the match was as important as a World Cup final after seeing his side lose three out of six games in all competitions since he replaced Vincenzo Montella in the hot seat.
Inter thought they had gone ahead midway through the first half when Donnarumma turned Ivan Perisic’s effort into his own goal but the referee disallowed the goal for offside after consulting the video replay system (VAR).
Inter captain Mauro Icardi set up a golden chance for Joao Mario on the hour but the Portugal international, who has struggled this season, saw his effort brilliantly saved by Donnarumma at point-blank range.
Donnarumma also made a double save from Perisic and Antonio Candreva in the 87th minute while Milan themselves squandered a golden opportunity, Giancomo Bonaventura sending a diving header over an open goal.
Milan finally broke the deadlock in the 104th minute as Cutrone was left unmarked in the penalty area to sweep home from Suso’s cross, before getting booked for a shirtless celebration.
Writing by Brian Homewood in Bern; editing by Rex Gowar