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Inter ended Lazio’s six-game league winning streak in a 3-1 win on Sunday night, sending Antonio Conte’s side to the top of Serie A.
The game was played at a high pace from the first whistle, with both Lazio and Inter taking turns testing each other’s defense in the first ten minutes. The VAR ruled harshly for an Inter penalty when Wesley Hoedt fouled Lautaro Martínez. Romelu Lukaku went home to give Inter the lead in the 21st minute, but Lazio continued to dominate possession.
However, despite all his dominance, Lukaku added a second to the edge of the break, despite a VAR control for offside.
Lazio looked for the best team after the break and found a goal for their dominance after an hour, when a Sergej Milinkovic-Savic free kick deflected over Gonzalo Escalante and found the back of the net. However, the Nerazzurri responded a few minutes later, when Lukaku sneaked into Lautaro Martínez’s counterattack to make it 3-1.
Simone Inzaghi’s team began to tire after conceding the third and Inter continued to watch the game with ease. Nicolo Barella enjoyed more time on the ball and Lukaku was constantly on the hunt for his hat-trick, but couldn’t find it as his team held all three points.
With one eye now on a Milan derby that is likely to define the season next weekend, here is the rating of the Inter players.
Samir Handanovic (GK) – 6/10 – In command of the performance of Handanovic, who ran out of his line and out of his box to shut down Manuel Lazzari. He was unable to do anything to stop a wickedly deflected free kick, but his team held onto victory in their 500th Serie A appearance.
Milan Skriniar (CB) – 8/10 – Dominant as ever, Skriniar made it look easy and was key in helping Inter weather a storm of Lazio dominance in the first half. He had nothing to do with Lazio’s goal and played a relentless defensive game.
Stefan de Vrij (CB) – 7/10 – He kept his defense well organized and led the charge with Inter’s aerial dominance, winning four games. De Vrij also played some lovely long passes, which nearly freed his team once or twice.
Alessandro Bastoni (CB) – 6/10 – The 21-year-old was by no means bad and came out well to read the danger ahead, but he showed his inexperience at times with some wild challenges.
Achraf Hakimi (RWB) – 5/10 – An unusually quiet night in attack for Hakimi. He failed to provide his usual push in terms of crossovers and overlays, but he also gifted a cheap free kick that allowed Lazio to get back into the game.
Nicolo Barella (CM) – 6/10 – Barella made every touch on the ball seem magical when he was in attack. Sharp in tight areas, but also willing to dig deep and do the defensive work in the first half. It calmed down a bit after the break, but is still effective.
Marcelo Brozovic (CM) – 8/10 – Aggressive and led the counterattack on his side. Key to recover the ball and recycle the game. It was his press that saw the ball bounce off Lukaku’s path for a second.
Christian Eriksen (CM) – 7/10 – He played very seriously and finally looking like the player Inter thought he had signed. Eriksen made several key passes through the lines and ran tirelessly in a solid 70-minute start.
Ivan Perisic (LWB) – 5/10 – Perisic struggled a bit with his defensive duties when he isolated himself as a winger. He enjoyed limited success in attack during the first half, but the game outperformed him overall.
Romelu Lukaku (ST) – 9/10 – Lukaku was barely in the game with Inter so determined to defend during the first half, but still managed to squander a couple of well-taken goals. He appeared with an assist to add his third later, and continued to cause problems late in the game; World-class performance.
Lautaro Martínez (ST) – 8/10 – Perhaps a bit lucky to win the penalty for Inter, but his timing was what sparked the uncertainty and forced Hoedt into the inning. Some good passes to find teammates when Inter were looking to counterattack, before adding their team’s third in a good counterattack move.
Roberto Gagliardini – 6/10
Alexis Sánchez – 6/10
Danilo D’Ambrosio – N / A
Matteo Darmian – N / A
Andrea Pinamonti – N / A