Saturday, May 22, 2010

Milito hits twice, Inter finish off treble, 2-0 over Bayern

2010 INTERNATIONAL SOCCER SPECIAL COVERAGE – UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL

If this was in fact Jose Mourinho’s final match as manager of Inter Milan, his club, led by Alberto Diego Milito, sent him off in historic fashion.

Milito found the back of the net twice as Inter completed the first-ever Italian treble by stymieing German champions Bayern Munich 2-0 in the UEFA Champions League final in Madrid Saturday night.

Inter, which already won the Serie A and Coppa Italia titles, is hoisting the European Cup for the first time since 1965.

Mourinho became just the third manager to win the European Cup with two different clubs, having led FC Porto of his home nation to the title in 2004. And Samuel Eto’o, who assisted on Milito’s second goal in the 70th minute, is the third player to win back-to-back Champions League titles with different teams; he led Barcelona to the title last season.

Milito put Inter up for good with a strike in the 34th minute, his fifth goal in 11 matches. He headed Nerazzurri keeper Julio Cesar’s long punt to Wesley Sneijder, took off and took a return pass before a strong finish past Bayern keeper Jorg Butt for the game-winner.

He then doubled Inter’s lead in the 70th minute, this time from the left side. Milito took Eto’o’s pass and hammered a right-footed shot to the far side of the net to set the final margin at 2-0.

Bayern, meanwhile, only got a couple of legitimate cracks at the net, both with a one-goal deficit in the early moments of the second half, and could not finish. Thomas Muller’s shot 25 seconds into the half was brilliantly stopped by Cesar, who was on the ground but stuck his feet into the path of Muller’s shot.

Then, in the 63rd minute, Bayern’s Arjen Robben hit a ball from just inside the box from the right, but Cesar slapped it away to preserve his clean sheet.

NOTES: Bayern was also seeking a treble after taking the Bundesliga and German Cup. … Inter Milan was playing in its first European final since 1972. Bayern was in its first final since winning in 2001. … Mourinho, who is rumored to be considering a move to Real Madrid, joined Ottmar Hitzfeld and Ernst Happel as the only managers to lead two different sides to European Cups. … Eto’o joins Marcel Desailly and Paulo Sousa as the only players to ever win the Champions League in two straight years with different clubs. This was Eto’o’s third European Cup; his Barcelona side also won in 2006, defeating Arsenal. … Bayern’s Franck Ribery and Inter’s Thiago Motta did not play, serving suspensions for being sent off in their clubs’ matches against Lyon and Barcelona, respectively.

BOX SCORE

Photo above: Inter Milan's Diego Milito celebrates after scoring during his club's 2-0 win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final May 22. (Victor R. Caivano/AP)

Video credit – FOX

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