Lazio 3-1 Inter: Luis Alberto and Pedro deal Nerazzurri early blow

·4-min read

Inter suffered their first setback of the Serie A season as substitutes Luis Alberto and Pedro earned Lazio a 3-1 win at the Stadio Olimpico.

The Nerazzurri had been one of three teams to take six points from a possible six at the start of the campaign, but a trip to the capital on Friday represented their first real test.

And it was not one Simone Inzaghi's side passed at their coach's former home, despite initially recovering from Felipe Anderson's first-half header.

Lautaro Martinez took one of very few Inter opportunities to equalise, yet Romelu Lukaku had already been substituted by the time Luis Alberto restored Lazio's lead with a deflected strike, and there was no response second time around as Pedro added a late third.

Inter started the brighter of the two teams, but the first big chances fell to Ciro Immobile, who was uncharacteristically wasteful as he dragged one effort across the face of goal and tamely aimed another straight at Samir Handanovic.

Felipe Anderson's cutback created that second opening, and he was far more clinical five minutes before half-time.

Found by Sergej Milinkovic-Savic's gorgeous pass in behind, Felipe Anderson directed his downwards header beyond Handanovic for an opening goal that was deserved despite Inter's dominance in terms of the possession.

Martinez had Inter level when he reacted fastest to a loose ball in the Lazio area and prodded past Ivan Provedel, but their momentum waned.

Luis Alberto's blast benefited from a deflection off Nicolo Barella to leave Handanovic rooted and pick out the top-right corner, before Pedro cut inside from the left to curl beyond the goalkeeper after Immobile went down in the box.

What does it mean? Even with Lukaku-Lautaro duo, Inter lack cutting edge

Inter may have reunited Lukaku and Martinez in attack, but they were starved of service in this game, restricted to the fewest touches of any starters in the Nerazzurri – Lukaku (19), Martinez (30).

Now Tottenham wing-back Ivan Perisic – 57 chances created last term – was badly missed for the first time, while Hakan Calhanoglu, who was Inter's chief creator in 2021-22 (88 chances), appeared only as a substitute only after Lazio netted their second.

Super subs in Biancocelesti

Calhanoglu's minimal impact stood in stark contrast to that of Luis Alberto and Pedro, who were introduced before the hour mark just as Inter looked to be taking control.

The pair combined for the vital second, the first goal scored by a substitute in this fixture since 2013. The previous 53 scorers had all been starters, but Pedro joined Luis Alberto on the scoresheet before full-time to make it two in a row.

Immobile unable to chip in

Martinez attempted five shots to Immobile's four, but only the opportunity the Inter man stuck away was a real chance of note – and that came after Immobile played his opposite number onside and failed to track him following a set-piece.

Immobile came up short at the other end, too, with each of his four attempts coming courtesy of presentable openings. Handanovic made a trio of stops, but it ultimately did not matter.

Key Opta facts

- Lazio have won two straight home games against Inter in Serie A for the first time since a run of four between 2010 and 2014.

- For the second time under Inzaghi, after two straight wins Inter have failed to win the third match of the season in Serie A.

- Martínez has scored nine goals in his last 10 league appearances; since April, he is the player to have scored the most goals in Serie A.

- Felipe Anderson has scored five goals against Inter in Serie A, each from open play. Against no team he has scored more goals in the competition (also five versus Torino).

- Milinkovic-Savic has provided 13 assists since the start of last season in Serie A, a joint-high among midfielders in the big five European Leagues.

What's next?

Both teams have midweek assignments before huge clashes next weekend. Lazio go to Sampdoria before hosting Napoli, while Inter welcome Cremonese and are then back at San Siro again to face rivals Milan.