With their top-four hopes hanging in the balance, Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez took the game against Lazio by the scruff of its neck, spurring Inter Milan to a comeback victory on home turf.
Lukaku provided two assists while Martinez struck twice as Simone Inzaghi’s side came from behind to earn a commanding 3-1 victory over Lazio at the San Siro.
A vital fixture for both sides in their respective bids for European football, they were intent on coming away with a positive result, but Inter started on the front foot.
Marcelo Brozovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan called Lazio stopper Ivan Provedel into two early saves, which set the tone for the rest of the clash before the Biancocelesti were offered a reprieve as Mkhitaryan’s goal was ruled out for offside in the 27th minute.
Inter had been unfortunate not to capitalise on their early dominance, and they were dealt another blow as Maurizio Sarri’s side broke the deadlock just three minutes later.
Felipe Anderson caught Francesco Acerbi in possession in a dangerous area before exchanging passes with Mattia Zaccagni and slotting into the bottom corner to give his side the lead.
Unfazed by falling behind, Inter remained on the offensive, with Nicolo Barella and Mkhitaryan planting their attempts wide of the post, before Ciro Immobile’s curling shot was excellently saved by Andre Onana, bringing the first-half encounter to a frantic close.
Despite proving their credentials in cup tournaments, Inter continued to falter in Serie A, and they looked destined for another disappointing night out as the game progressed.
Inzaghi’s side were relentless in their attacking endeavour as they sought to extend their impressive home form against Lazio but were left frustrated by an in-form Provedel in the opposition goal who refused to be beaten.
However, Inzaghi rolled the dice by bringing on substitutes in the second period, which proved to be the turning point in an otherwise frustrating outing for the home side.
Dynamic duo Lukaku and Martinez combined to level the scoreline in the 77th minute, with the Belgian showing great strength to turn and find his striking partner and the Argentine made no mistake when faced with the Lazio goalie.
Inter had laid the groundwork for a comfortable victory early on, but their efforts left it late to pay off, and with just seven minutes remaining, Robin Gosen put the Nerazzurri ahead.
Lukaku continued his excellent creative display to whip a cross to Gosens at the far post, who acrobatically volleyed past Provedel.
Martinez then put the icing on the cake with an easy tap-in in stoppage time to put the tie well and truly beyond the reach of Sarri’s side.
The victory moved Inter back into the top four as they are now level on points with AC Milan and AS Roma in the Serie A standings as the battle for a place in next season’s Champions League heats up.
However, celebrations will undoubtedly be even stronger in Campania, where fans will wait in nervous anticipation for Napoli’s match-up with Salernitana, where a win for Luciano Spalletti’s side will seal the Scudetto triumph for the first time in 33 years.
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