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Pato steers Milan into Coppa Italia quarter-finals

Published: Thursday 19 January 2012
Pato's extra-time clincher earned AC Milan a Coppa Italia quarter-final place while Wolverhampton Wanderers FC were knocked out of the FA Cup by Birmingham City FC.
Pato steers Milan into Coppa Italia quarter-finals
Stephan El Shaarawy rifles in his first-half goal for Milan against Novara ©Getty Images
Published: Thursday 19 January 2012

Pato steers Milan into Coppa Italia quarter-finals

Pato's extra-time clincher earned AC Milan a Coppa Italia quarter-final place while Wolverhampton Wanderers FC were knocked out of the FA Cup by Birmingham City FC.

AC Milan are through to the Coppa Italia quarter-finals but it took 120 minutes for the Italian champions to overcome Serie A's bottom side Novara Calcio in an open match at San Siro.

After Stephan El Shaarawy looked to have done enough to earn the Rossoneri a narrow win with his fierce long-range shot midway through the first half, Novara forced extra time through Ivan Radovanović's 87th-minute free-kick. Pato, on as a second-half substitute, notched the 100th-minute winner with a skilful finish before leaving the field injured.

Milan might have sewn up the tie early on when Filippo Inzaghi squandered two presentable chances before El Shaarawy's opener. The Italian Under-21 international was then denied a second goal by a wonderful Alberto Fontana save, yet Massimiliano Allegri's side were also indebted to their own goalkeeper Marco Amelia for two superb stops from Simone Pesce and Pablo Granoche.

With three minutes left, Serbia midfielder Radovanović sent an unstoppable set piece past Amelia to herald extra time. However, Novara's brave resistance ended when Pato raced on to Robinho's through ball, neatly lobbed the advancing Fontana and slotted in the winner to set up a quarter-final against S.S. Lazio.

In England, Premier League outfit Wolverhampton Wanderers FC were knocked out of the FA Cup by second-tier Birmingham City FC in a third-round replay. A tight contest was decided in the 74th minute when visiting midfielder Wade Elliot scrambled in the winner in a goalmouth melee.

Last updated: 19/01/12 13.55CET

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