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Roma reach Italian final despite defeat

Claudio Ranieri's Roma side remain on course for the Italian double after reaching the cup final on Wednesday.
Claudio Ranieri's Roma side remain on course for the Italian double after reaching the cup final on Wednesday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Claudio Ranieri's Roma side are through to the final of the Italian Cup
  • They are through despite losing 1-0 to Udinese in the second leg of their semifinal
  • Roma will now face Inter Milan in the final for the fifth time in the last six seasons
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(CNN) -- Claudio Ranieri's Roma side are through to the final of the Italian Cup, despite losing 1-0 to Udinese in the second leg of their semifinal on Wednesday.

Serie A leaders Roma will now face Inter Milan at their own Olympic stadium next month in a battle of the leading two teams in the table -- after going through 2-1 on aggregate.

Remarkably it will be the fifth time in six seasons that the teams are meeting in the final, with each winning two finals apiece prior to May's showpiece.

The only goal came with nine minutes remaining when Alexis Sanchez fired a shot through goalkeeper Julio Sergio's legs from an acute angle.

That gave Roma some nervy moments as the clock ran down. Marco Cassetti was sent off for a second bookable offence, meaning the visitors played the last six minutes with just 10 men.

And they were lucky not to concede again when Gokhan Inler's fierce drive from long range struck the post.

Serie A champions Inter secured their place in the final with a 2-0 aggregate win over Fiorentina last week.

Meanwhile, in the English Premier League, Aston Villa boosted their hopes of reaching the fourth Champions League place with a 2-0 win at relegation-threatened Hull.

Gabriel Agbonlahor put the visitors ahead in the 13th minute, taking advantage of some poor Hull defending.

And Villa secured their win when James Milner netted a 75th-minute penalty after the England midfielder had been fouled in the area by George Boateng.

Villa are up to sixth place, three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham although they have played a game more, while remain third bottom of the table, three points behind fourth bottom West Ham United.