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Inter Milan secure Italian Cup victory with Martinez’s match-winning performance. Twitter/TheNamibian

Inter Milan, the Champions League finalists, secured a 2-1 victory over Fiorentina to retain their Italian Cup title. Lautaro Martinez played a pivotal role, scoring both goals for Simone Inzaghi’s team. 

Fiorentina took an early lead through Nicolas Gonzalez, but Martinez quickly equalised and then scored the winner with a volley before halftime. Inter’s ninth Italian Cup triumph put them on par with Roma, with only Juventus boasting more titles with 14.

Martinez expressed his joy at winning trophies with Inter over the past two years, including the Serie A title in 2021 and last year’s Italian Cup. He emphasised the importance of continuing their success. Despite missing out on the Italian Cup, Fiorentina still has a chance to win silverware as they reached the final of the Europa Conference League and will face West Ham in Prague on June 7. Inter, on the other hand, will face Premier League champions Manchester City in the Champions League final in Istanbul.

Fiorentina started strongly, with Gonzalez scoring from Jonathan Ikone’s cross. However, Martinez responded with two goals for Inter. The first came from a well-placed through ball by Marcelo Brozovic, which Martinez finished with a precise angled shot. He then scored an acrobatic volley from Nicolo Barella’s pass. Despite Fiorentina’s attempts to equalise, including Luka Jovic’s near-misses, Inter held on for the win.

Martinez’s recent performances have been outstanding, with crucial goals against Benfica and city rivals AC Milan leading Inter to the Champions League final. This season, he has scored a career-best 27 goals across all competitions for Inter and has played in every one of the team’s 54 matches. The victory in the Italian Cup adds to Inter’s successful season, having previously won the Italian Super Cup by defeating Milan in January.

Inter’s coach, Simone Inzaghi, praised his team’s ability to turn the game around after a poor start and emphasised their rare lapse in approach. With this victory, Inzaghi has won seven out of eight finals as a manager.

Both Inter and Fiorentina have already qualified for next season’s expanded Italian Super Cup, along with Serie A champions Napoli and the league runner-up.

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