Milan: Inter Milan's recent renaissance gathered more momentum with a 2-1 win over Genoa on Thursday that put the club into the Italian Cup quarterfinals.
Brazil right back Maicon opened the scoring in the ninth minute at the San Siro and midfielder Andrea Poli doubled the lead with his first goal for Inter in the 50th, giving the Milan club its seventh consecutive win in all competitions.
Inter's current streak has helped the club close the gap to Serie A leader Juventus to six points approaching the season's midpoint.
Slovenian midfielder Valter Birsa pulled one back for Genoa in added time.
Aiming for its third consecutive cup title, Inter will next face Napoli. The other quarterfinal matchups are Juventus vs. Roma, Lazio vs. AC Milan and Siena vs. Chievo Verona.
Maicon scored with a spectacular curving shot into the top left corner from outside the area and Poli used a volley to take advantage of an over-the-shoulder pass from Joel Obi.
Inter rested its usual starting goalkeeper Julio Cesar and forward Diego Milito, who scored the winner in Sunday's 1-0 derby victory over Milan.
Playmaker Wesley Sneijder started, however, and again showed he's regaining his form after missing more than two months with a right leg muscle injury. The Netherlands playmaker missed high with a long shot two minutes in and had another solid effort pushed away by Genoa goalkeeper Cristiano Lupatelli in the 30th.
Genoa rested several usual starters, including goalkeeper Sebastien Frey and strikers Alberto Gilardino and Rodrigo Palacio.
Meanwhile, AC Milan forward Alexandre Pato will be out for three to four weeks after the latest in a series of muscle injuries.
Pato scored in extra time to give Milan a 2-1 win over Novara and put his team into the Italian Cup quarterfinals Wednesday but then exited four minutes from time grasping his left thigh.
Milan announced late Thursday that Pato has a mild left thigh muscle tear, saying he will be out "three to four weeks, barring complications."
Pato already missed the start of this season due to a muscle problem, and his entire career with Milan has been marked by similar injuries.
Meanwhile, Milan announced it has signed Djamel Mesbah from Lecce and given the Algerian midfielder a contract through 2016.
Updated Date: Jan 20, 2012 04:09:10 IST