MILAN - Inter edged out Livorno at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza to seal their place in the Tim Cup quarter-finals, Wesley Sneijder scoring the game's only goal early in the second half.
José Mourinho made a series of changes to the team that drew with Atalanta at the weekend. Francesco Toldo started in goal for the first time this season while Inter Primavera's Giulio Donati was handed his first-team debut at right-back. Sulley Muntari slotted in at left-back, with Patrick Vieira starting in midfield and David Suazo partnering Mario Balotelli in attack.
Inter were rarely troubled by the Amaranto and could have taken the lead with less than three minutes on the clock when Stankovic sent a 20-yard drive on to the post.
The home side hit the woodwork again half an hour later when Sneijder clipped the upright with a curling free kick.
The Dutch attacking midfielder grabbed Inter's winner from a similar position sixteen minutes after the break, beating Benussi with another of his trademark free kicks.
Inter could have won by a larger margin but Livorno had Benussi to thank for saves from Suazo and substitute Milito, who had three clear chances after coming on for the Honduran.
The Nerazzurri will meet Juventus or Napoli in the quarter-finals.
Inter 1-0 Livorno (HT: 0-0)
Scorer: Sneijder 61.
Inter: 1 Toldo; 29 Donati (13 Maicon 83), 6 Lucio, 26 Chivu, 11 Muntari; 14 Vieira, 5 Stankovic, 8 Thiago Motta; 10 Sneijder; 45 Balotelli, 18 Suazo (22 Milito 76).
Subs not used: 12 Julio Cesar, 9 Eto'o, 19 Cambiasso, 28 Stevanovic.
Coach: José Mourinho
Livorno: 11 Benussi; 2 Perticone, 4 Rivas, 13 Knezevic (59 Diniz 46); 5 Marchini, 8 Bergvold (7 Pulzetti 72), 24 Mozart, 83 Candreva, 46 Pieri; 9 Danilevicius (18 Dionisi 63), 99 Lucarelli.
Subs not used: 1 De Lucia, 3 A.Filippini, 90 Simeoni.
Coach: Serse Cosmi.
Referee: Sebastiano Peruzzo (Schio).
Booked: Stankovic 45+1, Diniz 47, Marchini 71.