Inter Milan won the Italian Cup, beating AS Roma 1-0 on Diego Milito’s 40th-minute goal, and boosted its chances of becoming the first Italian club to win a treble. It’s Inter’s sixth Italian Cup title and first since 2006 after losing two finals to Roma.
“We’ve won the first,” Milito said. “Now we’re waiting for the other two. This victory will give us even more motivation for the league against Chievo (this weekend).”
Inter faces Bayern Munich for the Champions League title on May 22 in Madrid and holds a two-point lead over AS Roma with two games remaining in Serie A.
Inter’s Dutch playmaker, Wesley Sneijder, injured his right thigh one minute into the match after a bad tacked from Roma defender Nicolas Burdisso.
“I don’t know when he’ll be back,” Inter coach Jose Mourinho said. “It’s a muscle injury and those are never straightforward.”
Inter had the best of the first-half chances and went close to an opener when Cambiasso swept wide to Eto’o and the Cameroon forward served the onrushing Maicon, who saw his angled shot is blocked by Julio Sergio.
Roma narrowly missed from a counter-attack with Julio Cesar making a brilliant tipped interception to deny Toni a tap-in from Taddei’s cross.
Milito then had a goal ruled out for offside when the flag went up after he ran to meet Eto’o’s through ball, but there was no disallowing his opener in the 40th minute. Thiago Motta freed Milito with a deft touch of the ball and the Prince ran into the area before crashing a precise right-footed shot into the top left corner.
Inter survived a scare shortly after the restart when Julio Cesar spilled Totti’s free kick, only for Juan to head over with the goal gaping. At the other end Julio Sergio kept out Balotelli’s snapshot and Juan made a last-gasp interception to deny Eto’o.
Roma continued to produce chances and force extra time but Julio Cesar made a spectacular punched block from Riise’s bullet shot and Vucinic drove an angled shot wide when through on goal.
Roma finished with 10 men after captain Francesco Totti received a red card for kicking 19-year-old forward Mario Balotelli in the calf from behind two minutes from the end.
Sneijder spoke on Inter Channel with the Tim Cup in his hands.
“I’m very happy about my first title in Italy,” he said. “We can take two more this year and we have to go for it, but the most important one is the first one and now we have to keep focused and win two more titles. The first title is the most important. Madrid is two and a half weeks away, so first we will win the league and then we will look forward to the Champions League title.”