Football Features

“This was the anti-Inter” – Crazy Coppa Italia final sees Inter Milan come from behind to beat Juventus

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 23:07, 11 May 2022

In a topsy turvy game of football, Inter Milan beat Juventus after-extra time to claim the Coppa Italia.

This marks Inter’s first Coppa for over a decade, since their 3-1 win over Palermo back in 2011, and stops Juventus from retaining the cup that they won last season. It gives Inter a genuine chance at winning their first domestic double since the Treble of 2009/10.

Moreover this is the first time in history that Inter have won three consecutive matches against the mighty Juventus.

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A historic night for the Nerazzurri began in spectacular fashion as Nico Barella thundered Inter into a sixth minute lead. It was an honestly ridiculous strike that flew into the top corner and left Mattia Perin with no chance.

But Juventus are still Juve, and fought their way back into the game. The introduction of Alvaro Morata for the injured Danilo seemed to turn the game in their favour, and they came out of half-time flying.

An Alex Sandro shot was deflected in by Morata (or at least he distracted Handanovic enough that a seemingly saveable shot went in). Then just two minutes later a brilliant take and forward pass from Morata again set Juve away on the break and Dusan Vlahovic slotted home what, at the time, looked to be a Coppa-winning goal.

But this is a final, and after a ridiculous Leonardo Bonucci foul we were treated to some true drama as Hakan Calhanoglu buried a penalty into the top corner of the net 10 minutes from time to send the game to extra-time.

There, VAR awarded Inter another penalty after a Matthijs de Ligt committed a sloppy foul. With Calhanoglu having been subbed off, up stepped Ivan Perisic and rifled a shot into the top corner with his right-foot.

Juve were shell-shocked by Inter’s show of mental strength and Simone Inzaghi’s tactical bravery didn’t stop there. Inter kept pushing and Perisic, arguably Inter’s best player this season, rifled home a world-class strike right into the same corner of the net as Barella did.

That this strike came with his left-foot spoke to just how potent and versatile Ivan Persic is. Inter then saw out the win with relative ease as Max Allegri lost just his second-ever Coppa Italia tie as Juventus boss (after a round of 16 defeat to Atalanta in 2019) and his first-ever final and got sent off for his troubles.

Andrea Rannocchia, who was a young prodigy when Inter last won the final in 2011 was an unused substitute tonight, celebrated as hard as anyone. Inter have now won the Supercoppa and Coppa this season with dramatic extra-time victories, and will be hoping they can carry that momentum forward and overhaul city rivals AC Milan with just two games left to play in the Serie A title race.

You wouldn’t have thought that possible, but watching Inter fight back here in the Coppa Italia final, you’d find it very hard to rule them out of retaining Serie A. For a side known for choking the big occasions, for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, Inter showed some serious resolve here. This was the anti-Inter. All the momentum and energy is with them right now, and momentum is a powerful thing.