Cassano has last laugh as Milan, Inter move on
© AFP

Italian football badboy Antonio Cassano celebrated his return to his former club Sampdoria on Wednesday as his new team AC Milan ran out 2-1 winners in their Copa Italia quarter-final.

Brazilian striker Pato struck twice - Sampdoria's new signing Massimo Maccarone getting the hosts goal - to give Cassano some revenge against the club, who effectively sacked him earlier this season for disparaging remarks made about their president.

Milan were joined in the semi-finals later by their city rivals and Cup holders Inter Milan, who prevailed 5-4 on penalties at Napoli after the match had finished 0-0.

Palermo were the first side into the last four when they edged Parma also 5-4 on penalties on Tuesday, while the fourth semi-finalist will be known on Thursday after Juventus host AS Roma.

Pato, who was sorely missed by Brazil at last year's FIFA World Cup™ finals, scored both his goals early on, twice being set up by recent Milan signing Urby Emanuelson, whose Dutch compatriot Mark van Bommel also made his debut after joining from Bayern Munich this week.

Cassano, who has throughout his career made a habit of shooting himself in the foot at whatever club he has played for, was greeted on his entrance as a substitute for Robinho in the 78th minute by jeers and boos and cries of 'Clown!'.

Sampdoria president, Riccardo Garrone, had said before the match that he would not greet Cassano because he had no regard for him as a person anymore after the Italian playmaker had gone on television and joked "that if he had known he would finish up at Milan he would have insulted the president a long time before he actually did so."