Inter trophy run continues with Super Cup
Rome: Inter Milan won their fourth trophy of the year as they added the Italian Super Cup to their Champions League, Serie A and Italian Cup triumphs with a 3-1 win over AS Roma on Saturday.
Inter may have changed coaches in the summer with Rafael Benitez replacing Jose Mourinho but there was no change to their results as Roma, runners-up in the league and cup last season, finished bridesmaids once again.
Samuel Eto’o scored a brace as the treble winners hit back from a 1-0 deficit at the San Siro in Milan.
Benitez praised his team’s reaction to falling behind.
“I’m happy because we conceded a goal and then showed character,” he said.
“This is a trophy for our fans and for the club, we did really well.
“It’s the first official game for us and it was too hot, it wasn’t easy.
“For me (the main thing) was the team’s reaction after conceding a goal, it was a good reaction.”
Roma’s Claudio Ranieri was annoyed with his team for gifting Inter a route back when leading 1-0.
“When we led 1-0 we gifted them the equaliser, until (Vucinic) did that things were going well, the 3-1 was not a fair reflection,” he said.
“We’re working hard but it’s not easy adapting to new systems and players, I was expecting more from everyone.”
Roma made a bright start and could have been a couple of goals to the good before they finally did take the lead.
Mirko Vucinic had the first opportunity when he took advantage of a high Inter defensive line, running onto a sublime pass from Francesco Totti to home in on goalkeeper Julio Cesar.
Vucinic, however, shot straight at Cesar who stood up big to make the block on 11 minutes.
Four minutes later, Jeremy Menez scampered away down the right before cutting inside, beating Walter Samuel with consummate ease before curling the ball wide of the far post.
But on 21 minutes, Roma got the goal their domination deserved.
Totti was again the architect as he took a pass from David Pizarro and then slipped a perfectly weighted ball in behind the defence for the marauding John-Arne Riise to hold off Javier Zanetti and finish first-time from the edge of the box.
Roma seemed to be cruising to a half-time lead until a shocking error from Vucinic handed Inter an equaliser four minutes before the break.
The Montenegro striker picked up the ball deep in the corner in Roma’s half but played an inaccurate pass straight back into his own area.
Brazilian centre-back Juan could not reach it allowing Goran Pandev to pounce from eight yards out to beat Bogdan Lobont in the Roma goal.
Roma were back on top after the break as Menez, in inspired form, lashed a stunning volley from wide right just past the far post.
Cesar then had to be alert to beat out a vicious Riise free-kick.
Inter should have been in front on 64 minutes when Esteban Cambiasso played Eto’o in behind the defence and he crossed for Diego Milito to tap home from close range.
A linesman’s flag ruled that out but TV replays suggested the decision was wrong.
However, there was no error on 70 minutes when Eto’o bagged the winner.
Lucio burst forward between two half-hearted tackles and spread the ball wide to Milito who had peeled away to the right. His cross to the near post was inch perfect to find the Cameroon forward making a diagonal run across the box to prod home.
Eto’o grabbed his second, and the decisive third, after another Roma defensive horror show.
Substitute Rodrigo Taddei tried to run the ball out of defence and Eto’o dispossessed him before playing a one-two with Wesley Sneijder and firing home at Lobont’s near post.