Inter Milan are up and running in their monumental attempt of being the first Italian club in history to clinch the treble after taking their first step to such greatness by defeating AS Roma 1-0 Wednesday night to win the Coppa Italia. Diego Milito’s first half strike in the Stadio Olimpico was enough to give The Nerrazzuri the victory in the home of their opponents.
It is Internazionale’s third triumph in the competition in the last six years who have ironically met the Giallorossi of Roma four times before in the Italian showpiece during that period. Milito’s winner was his 26th goal of the campaign who has enjoyed a successful first season with the Milan club following his move from fellow Serie A side Genoa last season.
Thiago Motta who arrived with Milito in a combined €25million deal from The Rossoblu, threaded in his Argentinean compatriot five minutes before the interval who slotted the ball past Roma’s Julio Sergio which turned out to be the winner. Milito did in fact have the ball in the net with 17 minutes played but his effort was ruled offside.
It wasn’t all good news for the Italian champions though as Dutch maestro Wesley Sneijder hobbled off the field of play with just five minutes played with a thigh injury. It is now debatable whether the former Real Madrid man will be fit for the game against Chievo at the weekend and certainly questions his participation in the Champions League final.
Despite that, the Inter fans that travelled to the Italian capital were able to see their team lift their first piece of silverware of 2010. Manager Jose Mourinho paid homage to his players and believes that Milito’s strike enabled his side to take control of the game.
“It was a really tough game right from the first minute given we lost Sneijder straight away.”
“We played with aggression and intensity for 90 minutes. We scored and then we controlled the game.”
“We didn’t get the second on the counter but then Roma lost their heads a little.”
Roma were reduced to ten men in the closing stages of the game as a rush of blood from club captain Franceso Totti saw him dismissed for lashing out at Mario Balotelli. In what turned out to be a miserable nigh for The Lupi in their home stadium manager Cladio Ranieri praised the victors’ on their performance but remains defiant in his teams quest for the Serie A title.
“We didn’t manage to play the way we know how and the way we played in our league meetings with them.”
“They punished us for a moment of carelessness. The honour goes to the victors. As for the league, we won’t give up.”
The cup triumph is Jose Mourinho’s second trophy since he arrived at the San Siro in June 2008 and is a pivotal step in what could be a landmark year for Inter who are on course for the treble. They lead As Roma by two points with only two games to play in Serie A and are also in the final of the Champions League. 2010 could be a landmark year in the history of Internazionale.