Football: Lautaro Martinez’s brace helps Inter Milan defend Coppa Italia title
Rome: Inter Milan retained their Coppa Italia title on Thursday (IST), collecting their ninth trophy in a 2-1 rally against Fiorentina with Lautaro Martinez netting a brace.
Inter defeated Juventus in last year’s final, clinching their first Coppa Italia trophy since 2011. The last time Fiorentina seized this competition was in 2001. Representatives from both teams had the honour of meeting President Sergio Mattarella at the Quirinal Palace in Rome on the eve of the final.
Fiorentina started the match in the best possible way, taking the lead just three minutes into the game when Jonathan Ikone’s precise pass found Nico Gonzalez, who tapped it in at the back post, reports Xinhua.
Edin Dzeko had a golden opportunity to level the score in the 25th minute when he was sent clear by Lautaro, but the Bosnian’s shot soared over the bar.
Minutes later, Lautaro took control, utilising his World Cup-winning experience to time his run perfectly, evading the offside trap and besting Pietro Terracciano in a one-on-one.
Inter turned the tide in the 37th minute. Nicolo Barella whipped in a cross from the right and Lautaro, anticipating his marker, volleyed in to put his side ahead.
“I’m delighted because we’ve won a cup we were truly striving for, and for the second time running. We faced a formidable opponent this evening that caused us considerable problems,” said Inter’s coach Simone Inzaghi.
“We want to give our best in all upcoming games. First, we have two league matches, and then the Champions League final in Istanbul for a grand end to the season,” he added.