FC Internazionale Milano and Sevilla FC both gained victories in the first leg of domestic cup semi-finals on a night when a hat-trick from Jermain Defoe inspired Tottenham Hotspur FC to FA Cup progress.
Serie A pacesetters Inter lead ACF Fiorentina by a solitary goal after the first installment of their Coppa Italia tie at San Siro. Diego Milito scored it, his 15th of the season being laid on by Mario Balotelli with eleven minutes of the first half remaining following a mistake by Cesare Natali. The second leg takes place in April, while the other tie kicks off on Thursday when AS Roma host Udinese Calcio. Hosts Sevilla beat Getafe CF 2-0 in their Copa del Rey opener, Luis Fabiano's looping header and Mario Álvarez's own goal giving them the advantage ahead of next week's return. Real Racing ClubFC Sochaux-MontbéliardAS Saint-Etienne and Club Atlético de Madrid meet in the other semi-final.
Tottenham will face Bolton Wanderers FC in the last 16 of the FA Cup after defeating third-tier Leeds United AFC 3-1 in a fourth-round replay. Defoe's sliced finish set them on course but the hosts equalised when Luciano Becchio (45) pounced on a rebound. Defoe, though, proved the difference, flicking in David Bentley's low cross on 73 minutes before racing clear in added time to complete his treble. UEFA Europa League contenders Fulham FC, meanwhile, were victorious on Premier League duty, beating bottom-of-the-table Portsmouth FC 1-0 thanks to Jonathan Greening's first goal for the club.
Elsewhere, FC Sochaux-Montbéliard and AS Saint-Etienne progressed to the round of 16 in the Coupe de France, albeit in contrasting circumstances. The former eased past Ligue 1 rivals Le Mans UC 72 3-0 thanks, in part, to two goals from Ideye Brown on his home debut, whereas St Etienne required penalties to eliminate fourth-tier FC Villefranche after a 2-2 draw over 120 minutes. Extra time was also needed in the League Cup semi-final to separate Toulouse FC and Olympique de Marseille, Brandão (104) striking the decisive blow for OM having earlier equalised with three minutes remaining.
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