Lazio defeat Atalanta, capture seventh Coppa Italia title
Lazio's players celebrate after defeating Atalanta to win the final of the Coppa Italia, a match played at Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy, 15 May 2019. EPA-EFE/PAOLO MAGNI
Lazio's Joaquin Correa scores a late goal in his team's 2-0 victory over Atalanta in the final of the Coppa Italia, a match played at Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy, 15 May 2019. EPA-EFE/CLAUDIO PERI
Lazio forward Ciro Immobile celebrates after his team won the Coppa Italia with a 2-0 victory over Atalanta in the final in Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy, 15 May 2019. EPA-EFE/CLAUDIO PERI
Rome, May 15 (efe-epa).- Lazio scored a pair of late goals in a 2-0 victory here over Atalanta in Wednesday night's final of the Coppa Italia, a victory that gives the Rome-based club its seventh title in that annual cup competition.
Atalanta had been a thorn in Lazio's side this season, defeating them twice during the Serie A season and ruining that club's hopes of earning a spot in next season's Champions League with a 3-1 away victory earlier this month at Stadio Olimpico.
But the Biancocelesti finally turned the tables on Wednesday night at that same venue.
In a match that featured heavy doses of physical play and overly cautious tactics, the visitors were the slightly more offensive side in the early going.
Atalanta also came closest to getting on the scoreboard before the intermission, with Dutchman Marten de Roon striking the post on a shot at around the half-hour mark.
But Lazio head coach Simone Inzaghi jumpstarted his team's attack with a couple of key substitutions in the second half, first sending on Felipe Caicedo in place of a quiet Ciro Immobile in the 66th minute and then replacing Luis Alberto with Serbian Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in minute 79.
Lazio began to dominate the action, although one foray at the other end of the field nearly resulted in a goal when Atalanta's Papu Gomez hit the woodwork with a shot.
The home side, however, finally took over the game down the stretch.
Just three minutes after taking the field, Milinkovic-Savic rose up to head a corner kick by Lucas Leiva inside the far post.
Atalanta responded by making three substitutions in search of offense, but instead it was Lazio that struck on the counter-attack.
On the play, Joaquin Correa ran the length of the field before eluding a pair of defenders and firing a shot that bounced off of Atalanta's Robin Gosens and into the back of the net in the 90th minute.
Despite the loss, Atalanta not only reached the Coppa Italia final but also still have a chance of booking a berth in the 2019-2020 Champions League group stage.
0 - Atalanta: Pierluigi Gollini, Andrea Masiello, Jose Luis Palomino, Berat Djimsiti, Hans Hateboer, Timothy Castagne (Robin Gosens, m.85), Marten De Roon (Mario Pasalic, m.86), Remo Freuler, Papu Gomez, Duvan Zapata (Musa Barrow, m.85) and Josip Ilicic.
2 - Lazio: Thomas Strakosha, Luiz Felipe, Francesco Acerbi, Bastos (Stefan Radu, m.36), Adam Marusic, Senad Lulic, Marco Parolo, Lucas Leiva, Luis Alberto (Sergei Milinkovic-Savic, m.79), Ciro Immobile (Felipe Caicedo, m.66) and Joaquin Correa.
Goals: 0-1, m.82: Milinkovic-Savic. 0-2, m.90: Correa.
Referee: Luca Banti. Showed a yellow card to Lazio's Bastos, Senad Lulic, Adam Marusic and Lucas Leiva; and to Atalanta's Andrea Masiello, Remo Freuler and Duyan Zapata.
Final of the Coppa Italia, a match played at Stadio Olimpico in Rome in front of 70,000 spectators.