Palacio pleased with stopper stint
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Inter Milan midfielder Rodrigo Palacio was relieved to navigate a surprise stint in goal as the Nerazzurri beat Verona 2-0 last night to progress to the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia.

Andrea Stramaccioni's men took their time to get going against the Serie B outfit, but Antonio Cassano and Fredy Guarin both scored after the break to guarantee a last-eight meeting with Napoli or Bologna, who play tonight.

But with ten minutes of normal time remaining - and with all three of Stramaccioni's substitutes in play - Inter goalkeeper Luca Castellazzi fell awkwardly on his shoulder, prompting ex-Genoa playmaker Palacio to pull on the gloves for the first time since his childhood.

The Argentinian told inter.it: "I made a great save from (Alessandro) Carrozza! We were leading 2-0 so we felt a bit comfortable but it was important to win the match. 

"Initially (Cristian) Chivu said that he'd do it, then Stramaccioni decided he wanted either me or (Ricky) Alvarez. Luckily it was only 15 minutes! Had I done it before? Yes, a few times as a kid. 

"On Saturday it's Genoa, it'll be a special game for me, but now I'm an Inter player. It won't be an easy match.

Stramaccioni was content with the manner of victory over Andrea Mandorlini's promotion-chasing side. He said: "Verona made a great start to the match, I think they're one of the best sides in Serie B and have a great coach. We changed the tempo at the beginning of the second half and opened up a two-goal lead.

"Palacio in goal? With his stature he made the backline feel safe."

Stramaccioni then gave an update on Castellazzi's injury, adding: "He'd picked a knock when he made his first save, but the medical staff told me not to worry."