Double triumph for Lazio

Published May 19th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Serie A champions Lazio pulled off a historic Double in Milan Thursday, when they held Inter Milan to a tense 0-0 draw at the San Siro stadium in the second-leg of the Italian Cup final winning 2-1 on aggregate and hoisting the Italian Cup. 

Lazio coach Sven Goran Eriksson praised his side's performance in securing their second trophy inside five days.  

"It's been a beautiful week, you don't get many weeks in football like that. I have to congratulate the team. I honestly didn't think they could recharge their batteries after winning the league just a few days ago, the Swedish coach told Soccernet. 

They became only the fourth club in Italian soccer history to do the Double after Juventus, Torino and Napoli. 

Lazio have finished the season just as they started it - by winning a trophy. They kicked off last summer by defeating European champions Manchester United 1-0 in the European Super Cup. 

Thursday's triumph was also sweet revenge for the Rome club after Inter beat them 3-0 in the 1998 UEFA Cup final in Paris. 

Several of the Lazio players had bleached their hair - while Ballotta had given his sparse thatch a blue rinse for the occasion. 

Inter had the best of the first-half but Lazio dominated the second, hitting the woodwork soon after the re-start and creating a series of chances which brought out the best of Inter goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi. 

The hosts' best opportunity came in injury-time when Uruguayan substitute Alvaro Recoba curled a shot past the Lazio 'keeper Marco Ballotta - only to see his effort hit the far post and bounce out. 

Lazio president Sergio Cragnotti said, "It was a great demonstration of maturity. Lazio are a mature team made of champions, who are always capable of great concentration. 

"Few teams have won the league and the Italian Cup," he said. "Lazio have managed it." 

Eriksson defended the Italian Cup from the critics who suggest it has now become more than a minor distraction for the big clubs. 

"The league title is worth more than the Cup, but it is people who don't reach the final who say this is a 'little Cup' I prefer to win lots of little Cups, this one will stay in our trophy cupboard for Lazio always," said Eriksson - (Several Sources) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

You may also like