Lazio returning to winning ways this evening, beating Simone Inzaghi’s Inter 3-1 at the Stadio Olimpico.
Coach Maurizio Sarri expected a good response from his team following their painful 3-0 loss to Bologna before the international break, and the Biancocelesti certainly delivered, with goals from Ciro Immobile, Felipe Anderson and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic securing the three points.
Lazio (4-3-3): Pepe Reina; Adam Marusic, Luiz Felipe, Patric, Elseid Hysaj; Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Lucas Leiva, Toma Basic; Felipe Anderson, Ciro Immobile, Pedro.
Inter (3-5-2): Samir Handanovic; Milan Skriniar, Stefan de Vrij, Alessandro Bastoni; Matteo Darmian, Roberto Gagliardini, Marcelo Brozovic, Nicolo Barella, Federico Dimarco; Edin Dzeko, Ivan Perisic.
The energy in the Stadio Olimpico ahead of the match was electric, with both sets of fans prepared for an exciting match.
Nerazzurri Coach Simone Inzaghi went over to the Curva Nord ahead of kick off and greeted the Biancocelesti fans, who loudly applauded the 45-year-old Italian coach.
Inter had the first chance in the match, with Dzeko’s header rising just above the crossbar after only two minutes.
In the 11th minute, against the run of play, Inter were given a penalty after Hysaj clumsily fouled Barella. Perisic scored the resulting penalty, giving the Nerazzurri a 1-0 lead.
In the 34th minute Reina proved his doubters wrong, pulling off a lovely save to deny Perisic’s long-range effort.
Basic had another chance in the 40th minute, clearly hungry to find the back of the net, but again he failed to capitalise on the chance.
Lazio’s last chance of the half came from Pedro, who’s powerful shot barely missed it’s target.
The first half ended 1-0 to Inter, a painful result for the Biancocelesti, who had taken 10 shots compared to the Nerazzurri’s six.
Inter started the second half with the momentum and had an early chance with Barella, whose dangerous ball almost put Lazio in trouble.
The Biancocelesti’s fortune changed in the 62nd minute, when Bastoni handled the ball in the box, leading the referee to call for a penalty.
Immobile made no mistake from 12 yards, slotting the penalty past Handanovic to make it 1-1.
Not long after the 31-year-old Italian striker’s equaliser, both coaches decided to make their first substitutions of the game.
Sarri took off Hysaj and Basic, replacing them with Manuel Lazzari and Luis Alberto. Inzaghi made three changes, taking off Bastoni, Perisic and Gagliardini, bringing on Denzel Dumfries, Joaquin Correa and Mattias Vecino.
Inter kept up the pressure after their changes, with Luiz Felipe making a key interception in the 72nd minute to deny Dzeko a dangerous chance.
In the 74th minute Sarri made another change, replacing a tired Pedro with Mattia Zaccagni, who recently recovered from a muscle injury. Inzaghi responded to this, switching Dzeko with Lautaro Martinez a minute later.
The Roman club had a scare in the 78th minute; Darmian’s cross landed just at Dumfries feet, but the player struggled to get his footing right and the chance was missed.
Lazio took the lead in the 82nd minute, with Felipe Anderson scoring after Immobile’s saved shot bounced into his path.
The Biancocelesti continued the attacking movement despite the fact that an Inter player was down on the pitch, causing a large argument on the pitch following Felipe Anderson’s goal.
Lautaro and Dumfries were particularly enraged by Lazio’s decision to play on, despite the fact that the Nerazzurri had done something similar only moments earlier.
As a result of the argument, the referee Massimiliano Irrati gave four yellow cards to: Lautaro, Felipe Anderson, Dumfries and Milinkovic-Savic.
Sarri made his final two changes in the 85th minute, replacing Leiva and Felipe Anderson with Danilo Cataldi and Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro. Again Inzaghi responded to this, taking off a tired Barella and bringing on Hakan Calhanoglu.
In the 90th minute Immobile had a wonderful chance to close out the game, but his weak shot was easily saved by Handanovic.
Luckily for the 31-year-old Italian striker, Luis Alberto’s curling free kick was met by Milinkovic-Savic in the 91st minute, and his well-placed header beat the Nerazzurri goalkeeper.
Inter raised a late rally to try and secure a point, but the damage was done and Sarri’s Lazio finished the game with all three points, an important result for the Roman club.
Tensions flared after the final whistle, with the two teams getting into a variety of small disputes on the pitch, forcing the intervention of staff.
Luiz Felipe was given a red card after full time following the tensions, forcing the Brazilian defender to tears.