There’s always a major battle for Champions League spots in national leagues across the continent, and that’s particularly true of Serie A. The big teams often seem to go quite hot and cold during any given season, which adds an extra sense of intrigue into the campaign from start to finish. Two such contenders this year are Inter Milan and Lazio, with the latter coming out on top during their meeting this past weekend.
Efficient and brimming with confidence
Heading into this game it always felt like there was a potential banana skin moment coming for Inter, as the pressure of being at home against a team of Lazio’s quality came through to the surface. Lazio looked more confident from the word go, and they were able to take the lead pretty quickly through Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s great header. The midfielder’s stock has risen substantially in recent months, as the big European clubs continue to sniff around.
Lazio had a variety of opportunities to add to their lead, but it was clear to see that Inter were going to have their fair share of chances too at the San Siro. They weren’t about to go down without a fight and controlled the possession and tempo of the game (for the most part), but they just weren’t able to translate that into an equaliser.
Getting the job done
Inter’s opportunities came and went as Lazio, defensively speaking, continued to impress. They had a clear game plan when they went to Milan and they were able to execute it better than anyone could’ve imagined. They knew that a loss would be seriously damaging to their hopes of playing Champions League football next season, and despite scoring quite early, they didn’t let the occasion get to them.
The Serie A table certainly makes for interesting reading now, with Inter being situated in 3rd place with 53 points – with AC Milan on 51 and Lazio on 48. Lazio have a game in hand and will next play away at SPAL on Wednesday, whereas Inter will turn their attention towards a very winnable clash against Genoa.
Moral of the story: great defensive work wins titles.
Inter Milan: Handanovic (7.5), Asamoah (7.5), Skriniar (6.5), Miranda (6.5), D’Ambrosio (6.5), Brozovic (6.5), Valero (6.5), Perisic (6.5), Vecino (6.5), Politano (7), Keita (7), Mario (6), Candreva (6) Nainggolan (6.5)
Lazio: Strakosha (8.5), Felipe (7.5), Acerbi (7.5), Bastos (7), Romulo (7), Milinkovic-Savic (7.5), Leiva (8), Alverto (8), Lulic (7), Correa (6), Immobile (6.5), Parolo (6), Caicedo (7), Durmisi (6)
Referee: Paolo Silvio Mazzoleni
Yellow Cards: N/A
Red Cards: N/A