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  • Writer's pictureBruno Asoka

Nerazzurri win Coppa Italia

Inter Milan came from behind to beat ACF Fiorentina 2-1 in the first-ever Coppa Italia (CI) final between the two sides, lifting the trophy in back-to-back seasons for the third time in their history.

Going into the game, no player on the field had more than one CI goal this season, but three minutes into the game, Nicolás González altered that. Fiorentina's aggressive pressing resulted in a move that ended with the Argentine latching onto Jonathan Ikoné's pass to the back post and beating Samir Handanović with his effort. Denzel Dumfries' careless turnover of the ball at the edge of his own box led Inter into another trap set by La Viola, but this time Alessandro Bastoni was able to get across to stop González.

The Nerazzurri carved out an opportunity of their own when Lautaro Martínez raced behind and set up Edin Džeko, who sent his effort harmlessly over the crossbar. Martínez was far more clinical when his own chance arose, capitalising on Nikola Milenković dropping deeper than the rest of his backline by drilling the ball across Pietro Terracciano to equalise with his 100th goal for Inter. It took just eight minutes for the striker to find Milenković lacking again, latching onto Nicolò Barella’s cross ahead of the Serbian and providing a superb finish.

After the break, Fiorentina resolutely attempted to come back, but Gaetano Castrovilli's drive was diverted wide by Federico Dimarco, and Arthur Cabral climbed high but could muster only a meek header that was easily saved by Handanović. After coming off the bench, Romelu Lukaku provided a reminder of Inter's threat by turning Lucas Martinez Quarta and launching a shot that was expertly saved, but it was their defensive organization that ultimately proved to be the difference.

Luka Jović was halted by Handanović then headed wide when Fiorentina finally found space in the box, as Inter held on to add the CI to the Supercoppa Italiana they won earlier this campaign, providing the perfect boost ahead of the Serie A run-in and UEFA Champions League final. They also denied Fiorentina their first trophy since winning this competition in 2001, although La Viola will look to bounce back in the UEFA Europa Conference League final.

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