By Jerry Mancini.
Ashley Young opened the scoring for the Nerazzurri near the end of the first half, but Ciro Immobile and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic each scored in the second half to help Lazio come from behind and win 2-1.
The victory extended the Biancocelesti’s unbeaten streak to 19 matches.
“We played very well against a strong side that had lost only once in the first 24 rounds this season,” Simone Inzaghi told Sky Sport Italia.
“We are keeping up a remarkable tempo. We played a great game tonight and were so convinced that we’d win that we allowed a few avoidable Inter counter-attacks in the first half.
“At the break, I told the lads that if we continued to play like that with a little more quality in the final ball, we could turn this around and win the game.”
Less than ten minutes into the match, the Biancocelesti had the first chance to score. Luis Alberto sent a pass to Milinkovic-Savic, who advanced the ball upfield into open space. The midfielder took a powerful shot on goal and beat the goalkeeper but not the crossbar to keep the game scoreless.
Midway through the first half, Inter had a golden opportunity to take the lead. After the Lazio midfield failed to keep possession, the Nerazzurri went on the counter-attack but Thomas Strakosha stood tall and stopped Romelu Lukaku’s shot from the left side of the box.
Just before half time, Inter opened scoring. Young sent a pass to Antonio Candreva on the right side of the box, who then took a shot on net with Strakosha punching the ball out. The ball went out to Young and he followed up on the rebound to score and give the Nerazzurri the first lead of the game.
Lazio came out strong in the second half and in the first five minutes were awarded a penalty. After further review, the referee called a foul on Stefan De Vrij for fouling Immobile in the box. Immobile made no mistake as he converted on the penalty to draw Lazio 1-1 with Inter.
The Biancocelesti continued their strong play in the second half as Milinkovic-Savic scored late in the match to give Lazio the lead and the eventual game-winner.
Following a corner kick from Luis Alberto, Adam Marusic had a clear shot on net which was blocked by Marcelo Brozovic. The midfielder’s clearance landed to Milinkovic-Savic, who found space and delivered a nice shot into the bottom left corner.
“I thought it was a very balanced game and neither team dominated the other,” said Inter coach Antonio Conte.
“It was decided by two goals that in my view were entirely avoidable.”
Milinkovic-Savic was a strong presence throughout the match and was one of Lazio’s best players proving difficult for Inter to defend against
“There are great expectations around Sergej,” said Inzaghi. “I ask him for a lot of quantity as well as quality, he has to work hard for the team and I’ll be honest, he has never complained about that.
“He is a very important player for us and does so much both in attack and defence.
“We were missing our captain, Senad Lulic, who usually always steps up for these games, but Jony [Rodriquez] and Adam Marusic filled in admirably. Before highlighting individuals, we should talk about this wonderful group.
“Even with injuries or suspensions, we have always been able to put out a strong, balanced and organised team with a precise identity that does not change.”
Lazio are now in second place with 56 points and trail leaders Juventus by a point, while Inter dropped to third.