Romelu Lukaku scored after just 21 seconds as he bagged a brace in a 4-1 thumping of Cagliari that fired Inter Milan into the last eight of the Italian Cup, while Lazio and Napoli are set for a quarterfinal clash after easing past second-tier opposition.
Belgian Lukaku has looked a player reborn since moving to Italy and his double took his hot streak to six goals in his last four appearances in all competitions, with his Serie A tally standing at 14 in 19 games.
“Inter was the best choice for me, here I can grow as a player and help the club go after its goals,” Lukaku told broadcaster RAI.
“I give everything for the team and that’s how I play – that’s what the fans like.”
The 26-year-old lashed home his opener with the match barely underway and then, after Borja Valero had made it 2-0 in the 22 minute, headed home his side’s third from Nicolo Barella’s corner just three minutes after the break as Antonio Conte’s side ran riot at the San Siro.
Their were nerves among the home fans when Christian Oliva pulled one back for the Sardinians in the 73rd minute with a fierce drive, but Andrea Ranocchia headed in Cristiano Biraghi’s corner to seal the win.
The victory helped Inter bounce back after letting Juventus take top spot in Serie A with a 1-1 home draw with Atalanta at the weekend, and the return of Alexis Sanchez after an injury lay-off will also boost coach Conte.
Inter will face either Atalanta or Fiorentina, who face off on Wednesday afternoon, in the next round.