Lazio vs Inter: Post Match Review
Lazio completed the comeback against Inter after Ashley Young opened the scoring for the visitors, Ciro Immobile scored his tenth goal from the spot before Sergej Milinkovic-Savic sent the Curva Nord into euphoria as the Biancocelesti leapfrogged the Nerazzurri into second place.
The victory now has Inzaghi’s side extend their unbeaten run to 19 games, half a season. They are also a single point off Juventus at the top of Serie A and can now boast the best defence in the league, conceding only 21 goals.
Simone Inzaghi opted to start Felipe Caicedo with Ciro Immobile in attack, not risking Joaquin Correa who was still not 100 per cent fit. Jony was selected to cover the void left from Senad Lulic after the defender underwent ankle surgery, Marusic was the shock inclusion replacing Lazzari down the right flank.
Antonio Conte had problems of his own, Samir Handanovic, Stefano Sensi, Roberto Gagliardini, Kwadwo Asamoah and Sebastiano Esposito are all on the injury list. It was the first time Stefan de Vrij had played at the Olimpico since leaving Lazio and there was no starting place again for Eriksen who found himself on the bench.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic smashed an effort against the Inter frame after nine minutes, the midfielder decided to strike the ball from outside the box which exploded of his foot and onto the crossbar, which is still probably rattling now.
Ten minutes later Romelu Lukaku started a lightning fast counter for Inter, the forward got onto the end of the move and his shot forced Thomas Strakosha to a save at his near post.
Jony then added what was probably his only positive contribution to the game approaching the 40th minute, his cross going over both De Vrij and Padelli only for Ashley Young to get his head to the ball to deny a waiting Marusic from a free header at the back post.
However with only a minute left on the clock Jony and Lazio were caught by Inter on the counter, a poor cross from the Spaniard lead to a fast break from the visitors, Candreva was played in the vacant space down Lazio’s left and his strike was punched away by Strakosha. Unfortunately the ball fell into the path of Young who dispatched the rebound on the volley into the net. Quite a moment to score your first goal in the Inter jersey, during one of their biggest games of the season. 0-1.
Inter and their lead did not last long, minutes after the restart, Padelli and Milan Skriniar failed to communicate and left the ball free in their box, Immobile reacted first and was about to fire in the loose ball when he was pushed over by De Vrij. A penalty was awarded, and converted by Immobile to equalise, his tenth goal from the spot. 1-1.
Francesco Acerbi made a world class block on the 58th minute to deny Lukaku. The striker was played in on goal by Lautaro Martinez, who up until this point had been vacant.
On the 62nd minute Lazio introduced Manuel Lazzari for Jony and Joaquin Correa for Caicedo as Inzaghi clearly looked to exploit the space as the game had become more open.
On the 70th minute Lazio completed the turn around, Marcelo Brozovic cleared a lashed strike from Adam Marusic off the line, the bal falling at Milinkovic-Savic’s feet, with the man mountain Lukaku in front of him the midfielder showed his class and fast feet, dragging the ball back and guiding it into the bottom corner sending the Laziali into pandemonium. 2-1.
Conte replied introducing Christian Eriksen for Brozovic and Victor Moses for Candreva, hoping that Moses could provide the ammunition for Lukaku like he did against Milan.
Eriksen tested Strakosha from distance on the 78th minute, Inter then had the ball in the net through Lautaro Martinez who nodded in the Young cross on the rebound, however he was clearly offside.
Immobile had the opportunity to put the game out of reach on the 85th minute, the striker with a deft touch to guide the ball through the last two defenders, his effort when clear on goal was saved by an on-rushing Padelli who somehow managed to get a hand to it when one-on-one.
Inter also threatened an equaliser in stoppage time, Luiz Felipe was caught short, his backpass forced Strakosha to come flying out to clear from Lautaro Martinez racing down on goal.
Lazio vs Inter: Statistical Analysis
Lazio had an xG figure of 1.52 whilst Inter 0.66 which showed that Lazio had created more chances across the game which had a higher xG figure.
Taking a look at the above diagram you can see that Lazio scored from a shot with a high xG value, Immobile who scored on the 48th minute from the penalty spot which had a value of 0.76.
The diagram also shows you that in the second half was a lot more open as both teams created opportunities, Lazio’s second goal had an xG value of 0.09 which highlights the quality of the finish. Lazio were the only side to create big chances, Immobile’s effort in the closing stages which was saved had a xG value of 0.35.
Lazio vs Inter: Man of the Match
Milinkovic-Savic: What an exceptional performance from the midfielder who’s form has retuned to what it was during the World Cup. His goal was the difference between the two sides and his presence in the heart of the midfield was massive.
The Serbian won seven aerial balls, the most on the pitch with Skriniar coming in second with five. He also contributed with two clearances, played one key pass and demanded the ball throughout the match, looking exceptionally composed when under possession.