Advantage Juve as Ronaldo inspires Cup win

·2-min read

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored twice to fire Juventus to a 2-1 comeback win over Inter Milan in a hard-fought Italian Cup semi-final first leg clash at the San Siro.

Lautaro Martinez gave the hosts an early lead but Portuguese star Ronaldo replied with a penalty before pouncing on a defensive mix-up to put the Turin club in front before halftime.

Inter, without suspended top scorer Romelu Lukaku, pushed for an equaliser but couldn't find a way past 43-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon for a second time.

The Italian veteran produced a superb save to deny Matteo Darmian on the 1,100th senior appearance of his career for club and country.

Nine players were booked in a fiery encounter as Andrea Pirlo's side earned revenge for their 2-0 Serie A defeat in this fixture, known as the 'Derby of Italy', last month.

"It was an important win after the game we lost here (in Serie A)," Juve midfielder Adrien Rabiot said.

"We were solid and played with order and we showed to be at the level of Inter."

Juventus, who finished as runners-up last year, host the second leg in Turin on Tuesday.

The other final four match-up pits holders Napoli against Atalanta, with the first leg on Wednesday evening.

The final is on May 19.

Martinez put the Nerazzurri ahead on nine minutes, turning in a low feed from Nicolo Barella.

Ronaldo levelled from the spot on 26 minutes after video review ascertained Ashley Young's foul on Juan Cuadrado.

Inter defender Alessandro Bastoni and Samir Handanovic got into a mix-up after the goalkeeper had rushed off his line, and Ronaldo pounced to race behind them and deposit the ball into an empty net, off the base of the far post, in the 35th.