Milito double hands crown to Inter

22 May 2010 09:47
Inter Milan secured Europe's top prize for the first time in 45 years thanks to Diego Milito's brace as Jose Mourinho's side beat Bayern Munich 2-0 in an absorbing Champions League final in Madrid. The result means that Mourinho, who seems certain to take up the managerial reins at Real Madrid in the summer, finishes his stint in Italy with a treble following his side's domestic league and cup double. It means that Inter have emulated Barcelona's treble success of last season and they deserved their victory in Real Madrid's Bernabeu stadium. Inter saw off the likes of Chelsea and Barcelona to reach the final and finally claimed the European Cup for the third time in their history following the successes of 1964 and 1965. Bayern had won the trophy four times with three successes between 1974 and 1976 and another nine years ago, but they never looked like making it a fifth victory even though they had seen off Manchester United and Lyon earlier in the competition. Mourinho chose Chistian Chivu to replace suspended midfielder Thiago Motta while Javier Zanetti made his 700th appearance for Inter. Bayern started with Thomas Muller partnering Ivica Olic in attack while Hamit Altintop got the nod in midfield in place of the suspended Franck Ribery. After Inter had edged the opening stages, Arjen Robben burst to the byline in the tenth minute but Olic was unable to guide his shot on target. Seven minutes later Maicon's arm appeared to be raised as a corner was whipped in, but referee Howard Webb missed the alleged handball and play carried on. In the 23rd minute Olic bundled his way to the edge of the area but, when the ball broke to Robben, the former Chelsea and Real Madrid star clipped his shot way over the bar. Inter took the lead in the 34th minute. Milito got his head to Julio Cesar's long goal kick and, after Wesley Sneijder had laid the ball back to the Argentinian, he coolly lifted the ball over Hans-Jorg Butt and into the back of the net for a simple but superbly executed goal. Two minutes before half-time it should have been 2-0 when Milito set up Sneijder who stormed into the area only to fire his left-foot shot straight at Butt. Bayern made a great start to the second half and almost grabbed an immediate equaliser when Altintop set up Thomas Muller whose shot hit Julio Cesar's legs when the Bayern man should really have scored. Almost immediately Butt had to tip Goran Pandev's shot away for a corner as the lively start to the second 45 minutes continued. Bayern continued to press with Robben always a menace but Julio Cesar was equal to the Dutchman's curling effort while Muller had his goalbound shot headed away by Esteban Cambiasso. Inter continued to soak up all the Bayern pressure and were content to hit the Germans on the counter-attack and the plan worked as, in the 70th minute, Milito got the ball 45 yards from goal, took on and beat two Bayern defenders, before sliding his right-foot shot past Butt. In the final analysis Muller was a willing worker but missed his two good chances while Milito took both his and that proved to be the difference between the two teams.

Source: ESA