Roma and Inter once again battled in the Coppa Italia Final for the fifth time in six years.
Roma looked to gain sole possession atop Coppa Italia history. A win would give them a tenth Coppa Italia Championship, breaking their tie with Juventus.
Inter, on the other hand, looked for their sixth Coppa Italia crown and their first Championship on the way to their first ever treble dreams.
Stadio Olimpico in Roma was the site for this Cup Final and this was certain to be an advantage for the Roman side. With the dwindling hopes of catching Inter for the Serie A crown in the final two fixtures, Roma was certain to leave it all on the pitch in hope of Cup glory against their rivals from the north.
The atmosphere was electric for this special occasion as the crowd roared in anticipation for the kickoff.
Once underway, Inter took an immediate hit when playmaker Wesley Sneijder was forced off the pitch, the victim of a high boot from Roma defender Burdisso.
The chippy start led to multiple infractions as the sides began to feel each other out.
In the 12th minute, Cambiasso had the takeaway in the midfield and chipped Eto’o free on the wing. Eto'o slipped an on running Maicon into the area only for his near post effort to be denied by Julio Sergio. Off the ensuing corner kick, Maicon delivered a nice ball across for the leaping Thiago Motta, whose headed effort was sent way off target.
Inter put another scare into Roma in the 17th minute when Milito did well to time his run behind the defense and casually sidefooted a finish into the back of the net, but the goal was disallowed as he was correctly ruled a step offside.
Roma put their first serious attack together in the 26th minute when striker Mirko Vucinic tipped Taddei through on the right wing, where Taddei attempted to square a ball in front of the net to the target striker Luca Toni. But Taddei led the striker too far as Julio Cesar was able to slap the pass out of trouble.
The first breakthrough came in the 40th minute when Inter striker Diego Milito received a pass from 40 yards out and used his time and space efficiently, as three Roma defenders failed to collapse and cut off his angle and the Argentine striker continued his hot form, blasting his effort by the keeper far post to give Inter the 1-0 lead.
Tempers flared at the end of the half after a Marco Materazzi acting job.
The second half got underway with the Giallorossi introducing Roma legend Francesco Totti to the pitch in an attempt to spark a more creative effective attack.
The substitution almost paid off immediately when in the 53rd minute Francesco Totti hit a blistering free kick that forced Inter keeper Julio Cesar into a diving block that bounced perfectly to the head of Juan at the corner of the six-yard box only for the Brazilian to head his effort over the gaping target.
With time dwindling down and under twenty minutes of play left, Inter settled down and kept possession while staying as organized as possible.
In the 76th minute Vucinic won a dangerous free kick from about 25 meters out but Riise sent his powerful effort miles off the target.
Roma’s final real scoring opportunity came in the 82nd minute when a speeding Marco Motta looped Mirko Vucinic into the scoring area only for the striker to miss hit his effort and leave the Inter defense fortunate to keep the clean sheet.
In the 88th minute, a clearly frustrated Francesco Totti gave Mario Balotelli a clear kick from behind after Balotelli forced his way past two Roma defenders on the end line and Totti was given a straight red card. This was an unfortunate ending to this Final, but it definitely came with the script as these was a nasty match from the get-go.
From that point on Inter held possession, soaked up a bunch of physical abuse from a defeated Roma side and held on to the 1-0 Coppa Italia victory.
This gave Inter their sixth Coppa Italia crown and Jose Mourinho his first trophy of the season on way to Inter’s treble aspirations.
Inter were clearly the more composed, confident, and organized side as they have made a habit of winning these big matches lately behind the tactics of Jose Mourinho.
Roma lacked the hunger and precision in attack to put a dent into their opposition. On top of that Totti didn’t put much of a positive display near the end of the match for the spectating Marcello Lippi regarding the possibility of his World Cup squad inclusion.
Javier Zanetti had the pleasure of lifting the Coppa Italia trophy and his Inter side were clearly pleased as they celebrated on the pitch much to the delight of the traveling Inter supporters and present Lazio fans.
Julio Sergio 5.0- The Brazilian keeper wasn’t at fault for the lone goal, but you could have hoped for him to be a little better positioned to cut off the angle.
Riise 5.0- The Norwegian leftback wasn’t his normal threat in attack up the left side. Riise was errant on his important free kick attempt and was outdone in his part of the pitch.
Juan 5.5- The Brazilian centerback did well to make a few composed tackles in threatening areas like his goal saving tackle on Eto’o, but is certain to be disheartened by missing a sitter that would have equalized the match.
Mexes 5.0- The French centerback did well on his multiple clearances and seemed to always be aggressively on his man’s back, but he can also take the blunt of the blame on Inter’s only score. He lazily allowed Milito the time, space, and angle to have his way with the goal.
Burdisso 5.5- Very physical display from the right back. Was responsible for Sneijder’s injury and booked early after a from behind tackle on Balotelli. Never lost his aggression and did well to put a block on a Balotelli rip that looked goal bound. Continuously walked the line of getting a second booking and was subbed out to begin the second half.
De Rossi 5.0- The Italian International had a quiet match and was absent when Roma needed him to provide that bite in the midfield and a link to the attackers.
Pizarro 5.0- The playmaking midfielder was barely a factor in his time on the pitch. Was subbed out to start the second half.
Taddei 5.0- The Brazilian used his energy and pace throughout Roma attacks but he lacked in his precision and execution when it came down to it.
Perrotta 5.0- The midfielder hustled and was a physical presence throughout the match, but he lacked the magic or creativity to trouble the Inter defense.
Vucinic 5.5- The Montenegrin was hot and cold, as he won numerous free kicks in danger areas, held the ball up nicely, and seemed to be the most likely candidate to beat an Inter defender off the dribble. But he also missed a glaring opportunity late in the match and his giveaway led to the counterattack goal for Inter.
Toni 5.0- The big Italian striker was involved in the normal bulk amount of positioning and mid air infractions both for and against himself, but wasn’t much of a factor before being subbed out at the 62nd minute mark.
Totti 5.0 - His free kick should have led to a rebound goal, but Juan headed off target. Held up the ball nicely and delivered some skillful passes, but will be remembered for his inexcusable kick on Balotelli and his red card.
Motta 5.5 - The substitute looked clumsy early, but once comfortable developed a dangerous missed opportunity by Vucinic.
Menez 6.0 - The substitute can easily be labeled Roma’s best player of the match. He was a rare threat to the Inter backline and Roma’s most likely attacker. He did well in beating his man off the dribble and spread the defense with his passes.
Julio Cesar 6.0- The Brazilian keeper dealt with everything sent his way and captured a clean sheet in a Final despite being fortunate on a couple of opportunities.
Chivu 5.5- The Romanian held his ground on defense and despite being beaten on his side on numerous occasions he was part of an unscaved defense.
Materazzi 5.5- The Italian centerback won’t be admired for his first half theatrics, but his physical force in the center of the defense was necessary and effective in dealing with the Roma attack and Luca Toni.
Cordoba 5.0- The Colombian was forced out in the 38th minute when he pulled up lame after an apparent muscle injury.
Maicon 5.5- The Brazilian did well early on attacking up the right wing and putting a scare into the Roma backline with his crosses and penetrating off-ball runs. Did well to filter Vucinic toward his help.
Cambiasso 6.5- The Argentine intervened greatly on multiple threatening crosses and continuously came through to disrupt Roma’s possession and passing attempts.
Thiago Motta 6.5- The midfielder’s one touch pass is what sprung Milito free on the goal. He also soaked up the physicality and abuse in the midfield en route to winning numerous balls in tough areas.
Zanetti 6.5- The captain showed his toughness and versatility tonight with a great midfield showing. Dribbled out of trouble on multiple occasions and was a key part to the possession and ball winning for Inter.
Sneijder N/A- The Dutch playmaker was subbed out in the 5th minute after being shaken up by high booted challenge by Burdisso.
Eto’o 6.0- The Cameroonian continued his nice run of form and team spirit with another hard fought relentless effort filled match. Came back and helped in the midfield and was a key to possession held by his Inter side.
Milito 7.0- The Argentine has been a hero for his Inter side throughout the backstretch of the Inter season. He has continuously been apart of almost every Inter strike and tonight was no different, as he put to display his confidence, pace, accuracy, dribbling, and power in his match-winning goal.
Balotelli 5.5 – The substitute frustrated the Roma side by displaying his great balance and positioning skills while holding up the ball and soaking up multiple fouls.
Samuel 6.0- The Argentine subbed in for Cordoba and immediately got back into his recent strong defensive mindset. Was the center of organization for the defense in the late stages of the second half. Luckily his shirt pulling in the area on Toni was ignored by the referee.
Muntari N/A- Subbed in for the final minute on stoppage time.
Man of the Match- Diego Milito
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