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Roma lift Coppa in Milan

Roma lift Coppa in Milan
By Eurosport

17/05/2007 at 14:25Updated

Roma won the Coppa Italia following a 2-1 second-leg loss away to Internazionale which saw them triumph 7-4 on aggregate.

Hernan Crespo and Julio Cruz opened up a two-goal lead for the Nerazzurri in the second half, putting them two away from the required four to overturn the 6-2 first-leg loss in the Stadio Olimpico.

However the sending off of Ivan Cordoba for a second yellow card hindered the comeback and Simone Perrotta finished with eight minutes remaining to set the Roma fans situated behind the goal celebrating.

Inter came out with the look of a side intent on bagging a goal early on. Had they done so, the outcome may have been closer.

The match, packed with competitive tackling and gamesmanship from the off, saw victorious Roma captain Francesco Totti fouled in the second minute by Cordoba, his first yellow card.

Dejan Stankovic was the danger-man for the home team in these first minutes. His opening effort, a delicate chip from 20 yards, clipped the crossbar as it landed on the roof of the net.

There were not many Inter fans inside the Giuseppe Meazza, yet those that were present were galvanised by the attempt. If they were not convinced that their side could do it, they surely were two minutes later as the Serbian struck a sweet volley an inch wide of the far top corner.

Stankovic was at the heart of the attacking play again as he went to ground under the challenge of Christian Panucci; the referee waved away his protests for a penalty.

After 19 minutes Crespo received a chipped pass into his feet and played it back to Mariano Gonzalez, who had the goal at his mercy from eight yards. Roma centre half Philippe Mexes came across quickly to block and save his team from going behind.

Crespo, leading the line in the absence of the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic, had two headers that almost broke the deadlock. The first was a fraction wide, while the second was saved by Doni from point-blank range.

After a Totti shot was palmed away brilliantly by Francesco Toldo as it headed towards the top corner, Crespo again went close with a stylish turn and backheel flick that just cleared the bar.

Before half time Brazilian Maicon was blocked solidly by Daniele de Rossi in the penalty area, but controversially refused a penalty. The Inter players were further incensed when a finish from close range by Gonzalez following a Crespo shot was rightly ruled out for offside.

Five minutes into the second half Inter scored their first. Luis Figo drove inside and fed Maicon on the right, whose cross from deep was headed expertly inside the near post by Crespo.

Julio Cruz, sent through by Figo, put the ball under the body of Doni to double the lead and set the home fans - their vigour diluted by the first half stalemate - to believing they could pull off a recovery.

Inter coach Roberto Mancini was sent to the stands, but that had little effect compared with the dismissal of Cordoba on 71 minutes. The Colombian handled deliberately as Roma attacking midfielder Mancini closed down on goal.

Rodrigo Taddei and Cristian Chivu almost scored for the capital club before the moment that put paid to Inter's chances. Roma goalkeeper Doni incredibly tried to side-step substitute Alvaro Recoba and left the ball behind; with the goal at his mercy, Uruguayan Recoba mis-controlled and put the ball out for a goal-kick.

The Coppa belonged to Roma after De Rossi passed to Totti and he shot low across goal, where Perrotta slid in to break Inter hearts.

Another thunderous Totti shot was palmed onto the bar by Toldo in injury time as Roma's fans chanted their team's name. Coach Luciano Spalletti embraced his captain at the final whistle before he lifted the trophy aloft.

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