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Last night Roma secured a semi-final place against neighbours Lazio in the Italian Cup.

Inspired by their captain Francesco Totti, they overwhelmed Serie B outfit Vicenza 6-3 at home, winning the tie 8-4 overall.

Even so, they were behind after just five minutes and an upset looked on the cards. Brazilian forward Jeda took advantage of Roma keeper Antonioli’s poor form this season, his long range drive producing yet another blunder from the Italian to give Vicenza the perfect start.

It woke the crowd and the home team up, and within five minutes they were level. Totti’s clever backheel put Marco Delvecchio through to beat Vicenza’s last line of defence.

Totti was again involved ten minutes later, starting the move that lead to Delvecchio’s second. The inconsistent Italian striker completed his hat-trick on 37 minutes, again the goal owing much to Totti’s invention.

The Roma favourite then sent Brazilian Emerson through for a fourth before half time. A penalty on the stoke of half time allowed Vicenza a glimmer of hope, and on 75 minutes Veronese scored for the visitors to bring them back into the game.

Emerson crushed the away team’s spirit, clinching his second of the night five minutes later and the contest was over. Both teams scored a late goal to ridicule the belief that Italian football is too defensive and therefore not as exciting as other European countries’ style of play. It seems they are learning from their Spanish and English neighbours. Long may the Italian renaissance continue!

In the other quarter-final tie Milan hammered Chievo at the Stadio Bentegodi to continue their remarkable run of form this season. The goals flew in, with Seedorf twice, Tomasson and Dalla Bona among the scorers in a 5-2 win, a vast improvement on the goalless first leg. They will face the winners of the Perugia-Juventus match to be played tonight.

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