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By ESPN Staff
Jan 24, 2007

Inter crush Sampdoria to close in on Cup final

ROME, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Inter Milan closed in on a place in the Italian Cup final by cruising to a 3-0 win at Sampdoria on Wednesday.

Defender Nicolas Burdisso capitalised on Inter's semi-final first leg dominance with a goal in each half.

The Argentine international, who also scored twice in a 4-0 victory over last-16 opponents Messina in November, is the leading scorer in this season's competition.

Burdisso's compatriot Hernan Crespo also hit the target, heading in a Luis Figo cross midway through the first half.

Inter coach Roberto Mancini, who rested first-choice strikers Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Adriano plus in-form midfielder Dejan Stankovic, denied fielding a second-string side.

'This was not Inter II. There are no stars in our squad. Today it was simply the turn of those who didn't play (against Fiorentina in Serie A) on Sunday,' Mancini told reporters.

The second leg is on Feb. 1.

On Thursday, AC Milan host AS Roma in their first leg.