This was a special reunion for Simone Inzaghi, who spent over 20 years at Lazio between his careers as player and coach. Joaquin Correa also left over the summer, but was benched along with Lautaro Martinez, only flying back to Italy last night from international duty with Argentina. Francesco Acerbi sat out a ban, though Ciro Immobile returned from injury to start and Luis Alberto was surprisingly benched in favour of Toma Basic.
Edin Dzeko nodded Nicolò Barella’s cross over the bar in the opening minutes, then there was a double Lazio chance, Pedro’s shot charged down by Milan Skriniar and Lucas Leiva’s follow-up over the bar.
However, Elseid Hysaj bundled into the back of Barella with a late challenge and Ivan Perisic converted the penalty to give Inter the lead.
Samir Handanovic had to make a tricky save when Felipe Anderson burst down the right and pulled back for Toma Basic, while Pepe Reina needed a strong hand to beat away the Perisic scorcher and Pedro’s effort was deflected wide.
Barella’s cross-shot flashed perilously across the face of goal and Lazio seemed to be lacking any kind of danger in attack, until a corner found Patric’s header that struck Alessandro Bastoni on the hand. The Inter defender argued he was jumping and his hand was in a natural position, but Immobile converted to equalise, meaning the Nerazzurri have still kept just one Serie A clean sheet this season.
There was controversy when the game was turned around completely, as Federico Dimarco was down injured after running into the back of a Lazio player. The game continued with Lautaro Martinez’s shot saved by Pepe Reina. The Aquile then continued, Immobile’s shot was beaten into the path of Felipe Anderson to score. Inter were furious and a melee broke out, above all between Milinkovic-Savic, Denzel Dumfries and Lautaro Martinez. There were multiple yellow cards, but it was not a head injury, so Lazio were not obliged to put the ball out of play, especially as Inter continued first.
The Nerazzurri let the tension get to them and conceded a third, Luis Alberto’s free kick floated perfectly onto the head of Milinkovic-Savic after the defence switched off.
The tension remained, another brawl threatening to break out after the final whistle. Luiz Felipe was sent off, seemingly for ‘mocking’ Joaquin Correa. The Lazio defender was in floods of tears, insisting he was only joking with his good friend and former teammate.
Lazio 3-1 Inter
Perisic pen 12 (I), Immobile pen 64 (L), Felipe Anderson 81 (L), Milinkovic-Savic 91 (L)
Sent off: Luiz Felipe 94 (L)