Inter edge Fiorentina 2-1 to win Coppa Italia

Sports Desk, May 24 (EFE).- Lautaro Martinez scored twice in eight minutes Wednesday to power holders Inter Milan 2-1 over Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia final and lift a trophy for the third time in six months.

After winning the World Cup with Argentina in December, the striker got a goal to help the Nerazzurri beat AC Milan 3-0 in the Italian Super Cup the following month and made the difference against Fiorentina in front of 73,000-plus at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.

Inter supporters will hoping that hoisting the Coppa for the second consecutive year – and ninth time overall – could give the team a boost heading into the June 10 Champions League final against Manchester City, who are seen as the overwhelming favorites to win Europe’s elite club competition for the first time in their history.

Though they are eight rungs below third-place Inter in Serie A, Fiorentina are a much-improved side since the beginning of the season and are also looking forward to a European final: a June 7 clash with West Ham United for the Europa Conference League trophy.

And it took Fiorentina less than three minutes to grab the lead on Wednesday.

The Viola (so-called for their purple uniforms) pressed Inter and forced a giveaway. Jonathan Ikone’s cross found Nico Gonzalez – Lautaro’s teammate on the Argentine national squad – unmarked at the far post for the easy goal.

Aside from an effort by Edin Dzeko in the 7th minute that hit the post, Fiorentina maintained the upper hand until Martinez equalized in the 29th with an assist from Marcelo Brozovic.

The Argentine put the Nerazzurri ahead eight minutes later, beating goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano with a volley after taking a pass from Nicolo Barella.

Terracciano made a good stop to prevent sub Romelu Lukaku from extending Inter’s advantage in the 67th minute before goalscorer Gonzalez tested Inter keeper Samir Handanovic, who likewise proved equal to the task when Luka Jovic tried his luck in the 79th minute.

Jovic fired wide twice on chances to go level in the final 16 minutes of regulation and stoppage time. EFE tfc/dr

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