May 23, 2022

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Lautaro Martinez’s brace helps book Coppa Italia final spot

3 min read

Lautaro Martinez bagged a first half brace to sweep Milan aside and reach the Coppa Italia Final, along with a late Robin Gosens tap-in, but Ismael Bennacer had a goal controversially disallowed.

The Nerazzurri will face either Juventus or Fiorentina in the Final on May 11, which will be a one-off match.

Within the opening five minute, Inter had taken the lead. The goal came from Inter’s star man Martinez, who brilliantly volleyed past Mike Maignan from just inside the 18-yard box.

Milan, clearly not shellshocked by going behind so early, pressed forward with real intent after conceding. Franck Kessie was proving to be causing Inter’s backline some problems with his late bursts forward, and he came close to drawing his side level in the 13th minute with a thunderous strike from outside the box. The ball, however, flew just wide of the right post.

AC Milan spurned another chance to draw level around the half-hour mark, with Rafael Leao’s drilled effort from the left of the penalty being well saved by Samir Handanovic.

Moments later Handanovic was on hand again to deny I Rossoneri, diving to his left to prevent Alexis Saelemaekers’s wonderful volley from the edge of the box from nestling in the bottom right corner of the net.

Despite all of Milan’s good play, it was Inter who’d get the second goal of the game. The goal would come from Martinez again, who darted brilliantly in behind the Milan defence to latch onto a Joaquin Correa pass, before dinking over Maignan.

Remarkably, Inter could’ve been three up going into half-time, but a Hakan Calhanoglu corner kick from the right which was flicked on by Correa narrowly evaded the onrushing Perisic at the back post.

The home side were happy enough sitting deep and catching Milan on the break at the start of the second half – a tactic which played to the strengths of Martinez and Correa on the counter attack. The former almost bagged his hat-trick in the 50th minute, but saw his shot from just inside the box saved by Maignan.

Stefano Pioli’s side continued to press forward in search of a goal that would get them back in tie, and they thought they had got it in the 65th minute via Ismael Bennacer.

The midfielder slammed the ball into the back of the net from 20 yards out after Marcelo Brozovic had headed a corner kick clear of the box, however the goal was (rather harshly) ruled out for offside as Pierre Kalulu was adjudged to have been in the goalkeeper’s eye-line – despite Handanovic literally having no chance of ever saving Bennacer’s strike.

Milan faded after this disallowed goal, allowing Inter to go up the other end and bag a third courtesy of substitute Robin Gosens. The wing-back stole in at the back post to slide home a Brozovic cross from the right of the penalty area to seal Inter’s place in the Coppa Italia final.

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