Milan thrash Cagliari to reach Italian Cup last eight

 
Luka Jovic of AC Milan celebrates with teammate Samuel Chukwueze after scoring their team's first goal during the Coppa Italia match between AC Milan and Cagliari Calcio at San Siro on January 02, 2024 in Milan, Italy. 

In-form Luka Jovic has eased the pressure on coach Stefano Pioli, scoring twice to help AC Milan beat Cagliari 4-1 in the Coppa Italia's round of 16.

With Milan nine points off Serie A leaders - and city rivals - Inter going into the winter break, Pioli had come under fire after a poor run that led to his team being eliminated from the Champions League at the group stage.

Milan have won the Italian Cup five times but last lifted the trophy in 2003 and haven't reached the final since 2018.
They will face either Atalanta or Sassuolo in the quarter-final.

Going into Tuesday's cup tie with a lengthy injury list, Pioli rested a number of star players, starting the match with four teenagers.

Jovic opened the scoring in the 29th minute following a delightful assist from Theo Hernandez and the duo combined again shortly before halftime to make it 2-0.

The two goals took Jovic's tally to five in his past six matches - an impressive turnaround from the Serbia forward who took until December to score his first goal for Milan after joining from Fiorentina at the start of the season.

Teenager Chaka Traore extended Milan's lead early in the second half, with his third goal in his first start for the team.

Rafael Leao capped a great night for Milan in stoppage time, shortly after Paolo Azzi netted a consolation for Cagliari.

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