Sunday, May 6, 2012

6 May 1998 - An Italian Affair In Paris

On 6 May 1998, Inter won their third UEFA Cup, beating Serie A rivals Lazio 3-0.

There had been three previous all-Italian UEFA Cup Finals, including Inter's first win in 1991 when they beat Roma. They won it again in 1994 over Casino Salzburg and returned to the Final in 1997, but lost to Schalke. Lazio, meanwhile, were making their first appearance in a Final.

For the 1998 edition, UEFA abandoned their previous two-legged format for a single match, which was played at the Parc des Princes in Paris. A crowd of 44,412 turned out to see the teams face each other for a third time that season--Lazio had gotten the better of Inter in the league, drawing 1-1 in Milan and winning 3-0 in Rome. But Inter wasted little time in staking their claim to the UEFA Cup, going up 1-0 when forward Iván Zamorano beat Lazio keeper Luca Marchegiani from close range in just the 5th minute. Zamorano nearly doubled the lead shortly after the break, but his shot rebounded off the post.

Center back Javier Zanetti did doubled the lead in the 60th minute with a blast from outside the box that curled into the top right corner of the net. Ten minutes later, Inter's record signing Ronaldo (pictured) capped the victory by beating Marchegiani with a dribble, then rolling the ball into the empty net.

It was Inter's last European trophy until they won the Champions League in 2010.


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