Samir Handanovic and Denzel Dumfries were the lone saving graces as Lazio brought Inter Milan crashing back to earth.

Simone Inzaghi endured a second successive loss on his return to the Stadio Olimpico as Inter Milan fell to a 3-1 defeat to Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio.

The Nerazzurri are one of the title favourites and went into the game having won their first two matches of the Serie A campaign. While they dominated the game in spells, Inter were unable to make the most of their chances and put Lazio to the sword.

Felipe Anderson gave the home side the lead in the 40th minute before Lautaro Martinez levelled for Inter in the 51st minute. Le Aquile held on before punishing the visitors with some well-timed substitutions in the second half.

Spanish veteran Pedro combined with Luis Alberto for the latter to score a screamer in the 75th minute. The goal was worthy of winning the game and also handed the initiative to the hosts. Inzaghi made a flurry of substitutions in an effort to salvage the result, but it was Lazio who found the net once again.

Pedro rounded off his impressive cameo with a good finish that left Samir Handanovic with no chance. It could have gotten much worse as Lazio went close once again in stoppage time after Inter threw too many bodies forward.

The loss gives Inter Milan a mountain to climb in their upcoming games. It also presents the Nerazzurri with a reality check and a need to go back to the drawing board. They cannot afford to get complacent against Cremonese next week ahead of the September 3rd showdown against AC Milan. For now, The Hard Tackle looks at how the Inter Milan players fared on the night.

Samir Handanovic: 6/10

The veteran goalkeeper was one of Inter Milan’s few saving graces in a poor performance. Despite conceding thrice, the Inter Milan captain had a busy night and kept the scoreline respectable. He saved a Mattia Zaccagni effort at the half-hour mark before preventing Ciro Immobile twice in the game. Handanovic should have shown better judgement in the lead-up to the first goal and was inert to prevent the other two.

Alessandro Bastoni: 4/10

The Italian international linked up well with Federico Dimarco on the left but lacked his usual assertiveness in defence. He should have been more alert to Anderson’s presence behind him in the leadup to Lazio’s opener.

Stefan de Vrij: 5/10

The Dutchman organised the defence well, but it all came apart as the game went on. Inter were admittedly far too open, and Lazio fashioned several opportunities. It only got worse after the home side got their second of the night, forcing Inter to push forward. Ciro Immobile really gave him a night to forget.

Milan Skriniar: 5/10

Another player who had an off night. Skriniar was uncharacteristically slow to respond to the threats and was also caught out of position on numerous occasions. 

Federico Dimarco: 5/10

A mixed night for the Italian international, who made some dangerous deliveries going forward but also struggled to hold down Milinkovic-Savic at times. It was Dimarco’s delivery that set chaos in the Lazio box before Martinez slotted home the equaliser. He was taken off in the second half for Robin Gosens.

Roberto Gagliardini: 4/10

The Italian midfielder was average at best and failed to make a difference in the middle of the park. He more or less cancelled out Marusic’s presence in midfield and was taken off for Hakan Calhanoglu after Inter fell behind in the second half.

Marcelo Brozovic: 5/10

Brozovic enjoyed a good first half but grew increasingly frustrated as Lazio seized control. The Croat was booked in the second half for a show of dissent, something that perfectly encapsulated his loss of control of the midfield in the game.

Nicolo Barella: 4/10

Another Inter player who never quite got going on the night. Barella’s probing runs were absent, and he struggled to take the game to the home side. It came as no surprise when he was taken off in the second half.

Denzel Dumfries: 6/10

The Dutchman was one of Inter’s best players on the night and provided a solid presence on the right flank. He made life difficult for Zaccagni and also forced Provedel into a save in the 53rd minute. Dumfries also grabbed himself an assist for Martinez’s leveller and looked likelier of the two wing-backs to make anything happen. It was a rather curious decision by Inzaghi to take him off for Darmian in the 69th minute.

Lautaro Martinez: 5/10

The Argentine was the livelier of the Inter forwards and made some good runs at the Lazio defenders. He failed to win a penalty after being brought down by Patric in the first half before calmly slotting a goal to bring his side level in the second half. Unfortunately, Martinez was not able to make the most of the half chances that fell his way and struggled to give his side the attacking impetus needed in the last half hour.

Romelu Lukaku: 4/10

Lukaku looked off the pace on the night and never quite got going. The Belgian international had an excellent opportunity to open the scoring in the first half but saw his 19th-minute effort go off target. Lukaku never quite got going and was taken off for Edin Dzeko in the second half.

SUBSTITUTES

Edin Dzeko: 4/10

The Bosnian came on for Lukaku in the 69th minute as Inter chased a winner. However, he lacked the clinical edge that his Lazio counterparts displayed on the night.

Mateo Darmian: 4/10

The Italian defender came on for Dumfries in what was a rather curious substitution in the 69th minute. The Dutchman was one of Inter’s best players on the night and looked dangerous on the right flank. Bringing in the defensively reliable Darmian, especially while chasing a winner, looked out of place.

Robin Gosens: 5/10

The former Atalanta man replaced Dimarco who struggled against Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. He never quite got into the groove as Inter were immediately pushed onto the backfoot by Luis Alberto.

Hakan Calhanoglu: 4/10

The Turkish playmaker was thrown on in the 77th minute after Inter went 2-1 down. However, he made little impact in the few minutes that were left.

Joaquin Correa: 4/10

The Argentine was brought on in the 77th minute as Inzaghi there the kitchen sink at his former side. Correa, a former Lazio player himself, did not enjoy the best of outings and failed to justify the faith put in him.

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