AC Milan beats Bari in Italian Cup

MILAN, January 21 (AP): AC Milan routed Bari 3-0 in the Italian Cup on Thursday with Antonio Cassano making his first start since joining from Sampdoria. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexander Merkel scored in the first half and Robinho found the net in the second to take Milan into the quarterfinals. Cassano lined up alongside Ibrahimovic and Robinho in attack and created chances for the Swede and fullback Massimo Oddo before he made way for Andrea Pirlo after 65 minutes.
Milan's defense easily contained Bari, though Vitalii Kutuzov and Jose Castillo both had good chances to score. "Playing with Cassano is easy because he is such an intelligent player," Robinho said. "He works extremely hard and makes you play better." Ibrahimovic had the first chance of the match in the 17th, but Bari goalkeeper Daniele Padelli pushed his shot away. Two minutes later there was nothing Padelli could do as Ibrahimovic cut in from the left and lashed the opening goal into the top corner.
Robinho then pulled the ball back from the byline for Merkel to hammer in Milan's second from close range just before halftime. Bari still had a chance before the break, but Kutuzov ballooned Edgar Alvarez's cross over the bar from close range. Robinho scored when Merkel played him through on goal in the 65th.