MILAN - Esteban Cambiasso and Fabio Grosso scored in either half as Inter registered a 2-0 win over Empoli at the Meazza to complete a 4-0 aggregate victory and set up a Tim Cup semi-final meeting with Sampdoria.
After a sluggish start the game came alive on 28 minutes when Santiago Solari picked out Mariano Gonzalez on the right with a deft touch of the ball. The ex-Palermo winger's fast cross into the area was met at the back post by Cambiasso who lashed home from a tight angle to finish off the Argentine combination and put Inter in front.
Empoli forward Mirco Gasparetto wasted a golden opportunity to bring Empoli level two minutes later, blasting against the bar from the penalty spot after Dacourt brought down Eder to end a mazy run by the Brazilian.
Grosso twice went close to increasing Inter's lead before the break, shaving the post with a low right-foot shot from just inside the area before seeing a powerful free kick finish inches wide of the post via a deflection off Cambiasso.
It was third time lucky for the Italian full-back, who doubled Inter's lead on 77 minutes with a sweetly-struck left-footer that sailed into the top left corner.
Jonathan Ludovic Biabiany and Sebastian Ribas, two of seven Inter Primavera players drafted into Mancini's squad for the cup clash, came on during the second half to make their first-team debuts. Both strikers were presented scoring chances in the final minutes.
INTER 2-0 EMPOLI (HT: 1-0, AGG: 4-0)
Scorers: Cambiasso 28, Grosso 77.
INTER: 1 Toldo; 16 Burdisso, 2 Cordoba, 25 Samuel (51 Bonucci 46), 11 Grosso; 7 Figo (58 Biabiany 76), 15 Dacourt, 19 Cambiasso, 21 Solari; 91 Mariano Gonzalez; 18 Crespo (60 Ribas 79).
Subs not used: 79 Carini, 4 Zanetti, 36 Fautario, 50 Maaroufi.
Coach: Roberto Mancini.
EMPOLI: 1 Bassi; 19 Iacoponi, 16 Marzoratti, 15 Vanigli, 33 Ascoli; 27 Ficini, 8 Marianini (28 Musacci 76), 20 Buzzegoli (18 Cesaretti 61); 17 Eder, 99 Gasparetto, 7 Matteini (21 Baldanzeddu 78).
Subs not used: 89 Pelagotti, 2 Rincon, 13 Arcidiacono, 25 Pizza.
Coach: Luigi Cagni.
Referee: Francesco Squillace (Catanzaro).
Booked: Vanigli 41, Marzoratti 69.