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 Lazio beat Atalanta 2-0 to win their 7th Italian Cup title
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Lazio beat Atalanta 2-0 to win their 7th Italian Cup title

Agency News

Rome, May 16 : Lazio won their seventh Coppa Italia (Italian Cup) title on Wednesday, beating Atalanta 2-0 in a hard-fought final at Rome's Stadio Olimpico.

Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored in the 82nd minute, moments after coming from the bench. Striker Joaquin Correa sealed the win with a goal in the 90th minute.

The win earns Lazio a spot in next season's Europa League championship.

Atalanta have not lifted the Coppa Italia trophy since 1963. Coach Gian Piero Gasperini told RAI public broadcaster that while the result was disappointing "it was a great experience for us -- we came within a step of victory, we came to play the final here in Rome."

"It was a beautiful evening and a marvelous public," said Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi. "Honor to Atlanta, they played a great game, they fought hard."

"This cup means a lot to us," said Correa. "Atalanta played a great game, and we never gave up."

Some 22,000 Atalanta fans traveled from their northern home city of Bergamo to Rome, braving the rain along with 30,000 Lazio supporters to attend the final.

Lazio supporters clashed violently with police on the streets near the Olimpico before the game, damaging three squad cars and setting one of them on fire, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

Police responded with tear gas and water cannon. Three people were arrested and three officers were injured, RAI reported.

On Facebook, Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi posted a photo of the burned-out squad car, suggesting that since football clubs "make millions", they should also "bear the expense of maintaining security".

The Olimpico is located in an upscale and densely populated neighborhood, where the Italian foreign ministry is also located.

Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said that 20,000 police officers had been deployed across the city to contain fan violence, adding that in the next football season, the expense "will not be paid for by citizens, but by football clubs". (UNI)