Dramatic turnaround sees Inter Milan pip Juventus to Coppa Italia crown
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Dramatic turnaround sees Inter Milan pip Juventus to Coppa Italia crown

Nerrazzurri secure late win over rivals in final

Inter Milan emerged as the Coppa Italia champions for the first time since 2011 after a 4-2 defeat of holders Juventus in the final at the Stadio Olimpico.

After winning the Scudetto last season, Inter Milan have shown no signs of slowing down in their pursuit of glory on all fronts. Simone Inzaghi’s men are locked in a battle with city rivals AC Milan for the Serie A crown and they came to face a Juventus side that has struggled badly this season on all fronts.

Inter Milan wasted no time in making their intentions known as Nicolo Barella opened the scoring after barely six minutes of the clash with an absolute scorcher of a strike from outside the box.

Inter’s opener seemed to bring Juventus to life and they began to create more openings, with Paulo Dybala guilty of a bad miss in the first half. Their persistence was soon rewarded as Alex Sandro saw his effort squirm past Samir Handanovic via a deflection of Alvaro Morata in the Inter goal just five minutes into the second half.

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Moments after scoring their first, the cup holders took the lead for the first time in the match through Dusan Vlahovic. The Serbian striker saw his initial effort saved by Handanovic before he tucked home the rebound after 52 minutes to turn the game on its head.

With the Coppa Italia seemingly heading back to Turin, Inter Milan were given a lifeline when Leonardo Bonucci was adjudged to have fouled Lautaro Martinez in the box. Hakan Calhanoglu stepped up and rifled an effort high into the net, beyond the reach of the despairing Mattia Perin in the 80th minute.

With the match deadlocked after 90 minutes, extra time beckoned.

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Juventus were once again the architects of their own downfall as Matthijs De Ligt brought down Stefan De Vrij inside his own box, causing a second penalty six minutes into extra time. Ivan Perisic stepped up and sent Perin the wrong way to give Inter Milan a priceless lead.

Six minutes after going ahead, with the end of the first-half of extra time in the horizon, Perisic brought out his bag of tricks and put the game to bed with a brilliant curler from outside the box that nestled into the top corner of Perin’s goal, giving him no chance.

Inter Milan have now won the Coppa Italia eight times, putting them behind only AS Roma(9) and Juventus(14) as the side to have won the trophy most times.

 

Salahudeen Sulayman

Sulayman is a sports enthusiast and budding Sports writer. You can reach him on Twitter @Sulayman_Salah

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