Beat Fiorentina, Inter Defend Coppa Italia Title

Beat Fiorentina, Inter Defend Coppa Italia Title

Striker Lautaro Martinez scored twice as Inter Milan battled back to beat Fiorentina 2-1 and win back-to-back Coppa Italia titles at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday night.

With the two teams preparing for a European final next month and meeting for the first time in a domestic final, Inter made nine changes from Sunday’s defeat by Napoli, starting Romelu Lukaku off the bench and Samir Handanovic replacing Andre Onana in goal.

Fiorentina took the lead in the third minute when Jonathan Icone sent in a cross which Nicolas Gonzalez was able to slot into the net.

Edin Dzeko had a chance to equalize midway through the half but he couldn’t keep the ball down when goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano rushed out and sent his shot over the bar.

“We started badly and had the wrong approach, which is rare for us, but the players did well to stay in the game and then turned things around,” Inter manager Simone Inzaghi told Mediaset as quoted by ESPN.

“I’m happy, because we won the cup we wanted, to confirm what we did last season. Fiorentina are a quality team that caused us a lot of problems.”

Inter have had a fantastic season, retaining the Coppa Italia and Italian Super Cup titles and reaching next month’s Champions League final against Manchester City.

“We have the last two games of Serie A, then Istanbul and what a great season we want to continue,” added Simoner Inzaghi.

Argentina’s Martinez equalized with a shot from a tight angle in the 29th minute and then followed up with a close-range volley into the net eight minutes later.

Martinez now has a career-best 27 goals in all competitions for Inter this season, having also helped Argentina win the World Cup in December.

He is also the only player to have appeared in all 54 of Inter’s matches this season.

“To be honest, I am moved, because for several years, we have brought trophies to this great club, and we have to continue like this. I am very happy,” said Martinez.

“I am very happy to bring this trophy back to Milan, or rather keep it there, considering it was there last year.”

Fiorentina’s best chance for an equalizer came when Luka Jovic’s strike was saved by Handanovic but Inter held on well before celebrating their ninth Coppa Italia title.

Inter coach Simone Inzaghi has now won seven of his eight finals as a manager.

Fiorentina face West Ham United in the Conference League final on 7 June and Inter take on City in the Champions League final on 10 June.

“We expected a different result but it will serve as experience and preparation for what to expect on a mental level and how to handle the game for the Conference League final,” said Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Italiano.

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