- Associated Press - Thursday, January 19, 2017

ROME (AP) - Roma is on course to face city rival Lazio in the Italian Cup semifinals after easing past Sampdoria 4-0 in the round of 16 on Thursday.

It next faces second-division Cesena, which has already seen off two Serie A sides in Empoli and Sassuolo, while Lazio visits Inter Milan in its quarterfinal.

Roma survived an early scare as Luis Muriel hit the post in the third minute for Sampdoria.

The home side also hit the woodwork, with Leandro Paredes’ volley crashing off the underside of the crossbar before bouncing just the wrong side of the line in the 25th.

Roma broke the deadlock six minutes from time with an absolute stunner from Radja Nainggolan, who volleyed a poor clearance into the top right corner from 25 yards.

On the bench, Francesco Totti swung his scarf around his head in celebration.

Stephan El Shaarawy missed a couple of chances at the end of the first half but he set up Roma’s second shortly after the restart with a deft chipped pass for Edin Dzeko.

Dzeko returned the favor on the hour mark with a 40-yard pass, which El Shaarawy controlled before lobbing Sampdoria goalkeeper Christian Puggioni.

Samp had the ball in the net but Patrik Schick’s effort was ruled out for offside, and Nainggolan headed in Diego Perotti’s cross in the 89th for his first double for Roma.

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