Fiorentina 1-2 Inter: Martinez the hero as Nerazzurri fight back to retain Coppa Italia
Inter lifted the Coppa Italia for a ninth time as Lautaro Martinez led them to a comeback victory over Fiorentina in Wednesday's final.FotMob - 6 days ago
Lautaro Martinez was Inter's hero as his two goals saw them retain the Coppa Italia with a 2-1 victory over Fiorentina.
Martinez produced two fine first-half finishes – the first for his 100th Inter goal – as the Nerazzurri rallied following Nicolas Gonzalez's third-minute opener at a raucous Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday.
Vincenzo Italiano's Viola piled on the pressure after the break, but Inter captain Samir Handanovic made a string of crucial saves, the most impressive of them to deny Luka Jovic.
That rear-guard action from Inter ensured they clung on to retain the trophy, and with a Champions League final against Manchester City to come next month, the Nerazzurri are in the hunt for a double.
It was a dream start for Fiorentina. Jonathan Ikone found space to send in a low cross from the left, allowing his opposite winger Gonzalez to tap home at the far post.
Edin Dzeko missed two chances to level for Inter, but it was his partner-in-crime Martinez who stepped up just before the half-hour mark, latching onto Marcelo Brozovic's pass to finish low across goal.
Martinez doubled up just eight minutes later, volleying Nicolo Barella's delicate cross beyond Pietro Terracciano.
Arthur Cabral headed straight at Handanovic from close range, before Inter substitute Romelu Lukaku tested Terracciano at the other end.
Handanovic remained alert to deny Gonzalez a double of his own from a tight angle, while Robin Gosens somehow failed to prod Lukaku's cross into a gaping net to kill the contest.
Jovic had two chances to send the game to extra time after entering the fray, but Handanovic thwarted the former Real Madrid striker with a brilliant one-on-one save before watching a header from the Serbian spin just wide as Inter claimed a ninth Coppa crown.
What does it mean? Cup king Inzaghi reigns again
Simone Inzaghi's reputation as a master of knockout football has been further enhanced.
Having won Italy's domestic cup three times as a Lazio player, he has matched that tally since moving into the dugout, leading the Biancocelesti to glory in 2018-19 and repeating the trick with Inter in each of the last two seasons.
Inter have now matched Roma's tally of nine Coppa Italia triumphs. Only Juventus (14) have lifted the trophy on more occasions.
Lautaro's name up in lights
Gonzalez has been in superb form as of late and he gave Fiorentina a brilliant start, but another Argentine stole the headlines with a terrific display.
Having brought up a century of Inter goals with his leveller, Martinez decided the destination of the trophy with a predatory second.
Martinez now has 27 goals across all competitions this season, the best tally of his Inter career, and he could yet add the Champions League trophy to his World Cup and Coppa Italia triumphs.
Handanovic still handy
Handanovic has been ousted as Inter's first-choice goalkeeper by Andre Onana this term, but the 38-year-old returned between the sticks for Wednesday's final.
The Slovenian certainly repaid Inzaghi's faith. Fiorentina managed 19 attempts to Inter's 11, but Handanovic proved unflappable.
Inter will secure a top-four finish in Serie A if they overcome Atalanta at San Siro on Saturday. Fiorentina host Roma, another Champions League-chasing side who also have a European final to look forward to, on the same day.