Inter Milan narrowly defeated Fiorentina for the Coppa Italia title on Wednesday. The victory means that Inter has now collected the trophy in back-to-back seasons. Lautaro Martinez starred for the club, scoring both of Inter’s goals.
Both Italian clubs played the match on Wednesday with a European clash on the horizon. In fact, the Italian sides will also both face English teams. Fiorentina is set to play West Ham in the Europa Conference League Final in Prague on June 7th. Inter, on the other hand, must face mighty Manchester City for the Champions League title three days later.
The upcoming continental matches, however, didn’t seem to distract the two Italian sides. Nico Gonzalez put Fiorentina ahead less than three minutes into the match. It was the team’s first scoring chance of the night after both wingers linked up to create the early goal.
Jonathan Ikone sent a low cross through the Inter back line and straight to Gonzalez. The Argentine forward then slotted the ball past Samir Handanovic in goal. Gonzalez’s strike was the third-fastest goal in Coppa Italia Final history at just 150 seconds.
Martinez nets first-half brace to put Inter ahead in Coppa Italia Final
Nevertheless, Lautaro Martinez would score in the 29th minute to tie the match. Despite looking offside at the moment, the Argentine cleverly slipped behind the Fiorentina defense and hammered a shot into the bottom corner of the net. A lone defender not in line with his teammates played the striker on for the goal. The strike was Martinez’s ninth goal in 10 games.
The Argentine striker would then grab his second goal in less than eight minutes. After Fiorentina failed to clear the danger inside its box, Nicolo Barella collected the ball and looked forward. The midfielder then sent in a clever little cross and Martinez pounced on the ball ahead of his defensive opposition. It was his 27th total goal of the current campaign and 101st of his Inter career.
Fiorentina better in second half, but can’t find goal
Fiorentina came out of the halftime break a bit more on the front foot. Inter certainly saw most of the ball being played in its half during the opening 20 minutes of the period. The Violets had a few solid chances to level the score once again during this timeframe, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Handanovic helped keep Fiorentina off of the scoresheet in the second half thanks to an incredible save in the 79th minute. The veteran shot-stopper blocked seemingly a sure goal by substitute Luka Jovic. Although some questioned Handanovic’s inclusion in the team, the Slovenian kept Inter in the lead. Jovic also had another glorious chance to score in the 82nd minute as well. However, the Serbian striker sent a free header wide of the post.
Despite the plethora of chances, Fiorentina couldn’t find the equalizer. Inter would go on to collect the Coppa Italia trophy for the second consecutive season. Fiorentina must now try to regroup ahead of a clash with West Ham. Inter, on the other hand, will attempt to collect another trophy next month against Manchester City.
PHOTO: IMAGO / LaPresse
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