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Aug, 21, 2010

Benitez begins Inter reign with Supercoppa triumph

Inter Milan earned their fourth piece of silverware in 2010 by lifting the Italian Supercoppa with victory over Roma; Rafa Benitez's first trophy with the Nerazzurri.

• European gallery
• Blog: New tactics, new silverware

John Arne Riise put the visitors in front in the 21st minute, but Goran Pandev levelled four minutes before the break.

Samuel Eto'o scored in the 70th and 80th minutes to give Rafa Benitez a winning start on the Inter bench and earn the Nerazzurri their first success of the 2010-11 season.

Inter can potentially go on to clinch six trophies in 2010 by winning the European Super Cup against Atletico Madrid next weekend and the FIFA Club World Cup in December, to add to the Serie A title, the Coppa Italia and the Champions League they won last season under Jose Mourinho.

Benitez relied upon the players he inherited from Mourinho in his starting XI, while Roma coach Claudio Ranieri also fielded the same team which pushed the Nerazzurri close for the Scudetto last season.

Francesco Totti and Mirko Vucinic led the Giallorossi attack with former Inter forward Adriano starting on the bench.

Wesley Sneijder had two decent efforts within the first 10 minutes with his second attempt going just a few feet over the crossbar from 20 yards.

Totti sent his strike partner Vucinic through with a perfectly-weighted pass in the 10th minute, but the Montenegro forward shot straight at Julio Cesar with just the Inter goalkeeper to beat.

Roma were posing the greater threat and Jeremy Menez made room for a shot by cutting inside Walter Samuel, but he tried to find the far corner with the outside of his boot and failed to get any curl on the ball.

At the other end, Marco Cassetti threw himself at the feet of Samuel Eto'o to block the Cameroon striker's shot from Maicon's cross.

Riise then put Roma ahead thanks to yet another intelligent pass from Giallorossi captain Totti. His precision pass allowed the former Liverpool full-back to fire first time past Julio Cesar from just outside the penalty area, the Brazilian goalkeeper getting his fingertips to the ball but failing to keep it out.

Roma were good value for their lead but they threw it away when Vucinic passed the ball back towards his goalkeeper from out wide in the 41st minute. Pandev got to the ball ahead of Bogdan Lobont to divert it into the far corner.

Menez and Riise tried their luck from distance as Roma started the second half brightly, but Eto'o then took centre stage.

He was wrongly ruled offside in the 64th minute as he provided an assist for Milito to score and the pair linked up again six minutes later as Milito crossed for Eto'o, who stole in at the near post to beat Cassetti and Lobont to the ball to score.

Eto'o then sealed the win for Inter in the 80th minute. He stole possession off Rodrigo Taddei, who was trying to walk the ball out of defence, and played a one-two with Sneijder before sliding a shot under Lobont, who was unable to take enough of the pace off the ball with his leg.

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