Games

Martinez double secures Italian Cup for Inter


ROME:

Lautaro Martinez scored twice as Champions League finalists Inter Milan came from behind to beat Fiorentina 2-1 and retain their Italian Cup title on Wednesday.

Nicolas Gonzalez gave Fiorentina an early lead at the Stadio Olimpico, but Martinez drilled Inter level and then volleyed in the winner before half-time for Simone Inzaghi’s team.

Inter’s ninth Italian Cup triumph moved them level with Roma. Only Juventus, with 14 titles, have lifted the trophy more often.

“I’m so happy because we’ve been winning trophies with this great club the past two years,” Martinez, who also helped Inter win Serie A in 2021 and last year’s Italian Cup, told Mediaset.

“We have to keep going like that. We really wanted to lift another cup tonight. We started badly in the first 15 minutes but then we did what we should have done from the beginning.”

Six-time winners Fiorentina were denied a first trophy since 2001, but the club could still end the season with silverware having reached the final of the Europa Conference League.

They face West Ham in Prague on June 7, three days before Inter take on Premier League champions Manchester City in the Champions League final in Istanbul.

“We have to recharge our batteries for Prague. We have to go there together convinced that we can bring the trophy home and get our revenge,” said Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Italiano.

Fiorentina, the first club to reach the final of four different major European competitions, made a dream start in Rome as Gonzalez turned in Jonathan Ikone’s threaded cross at the far post.

Sofyan Amrabat rolled an effort wide from the edge of the area as Fiorentina threatened a second, with Inter striker Edin Dzeko scooping over after he was played in by Martinez.

The Argentine forward made no such mistake after Marcelo Brozovic slipped him through on 29 minutes, hammering low into the corner past Pietro Terracciano for his 100th goal in Inter colours.

Martinez struck again eight minutes later as he lashed in Nicolo Barella’s hooked delivery from the right.

Fiorentina, who overcame Basel in the final seconds of extra time last week in Europe, pushed until the end with Luka Jovic twice going close.

The Serbian striker was denied by a fantastic stop from veteran Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic before heading another chance narrowly wide.

Gonzalez nearly forced extra time after bursting into the box and looping a header over Handanovic after his shot was blocked, but Matteo Darmian headed to safety as Inter clung on for victory.

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