Alessandro Bastoni was the star of the show as defending champions Inter Milan defeated Lazio to go top of the Serie A table.
Inter Milan continued their impressive run of form this season with a swashbuckling 2-1 win over Lazio to go back to the top of the Serie A table. Simone Inzaghi’s side hit back against the only side to defeat them in the Serie A this season with great effect. The scoreline, if anything, flatters Lazio as Inter were easily the better side on the night.
The home side pinned Lazio in their own half and appeared to have taken the lead in the 17th minute, thanks to Lautaro Martinez. Unfortunately, the effort was ruled out thanks to a tight offside decision.
The Nerazzurri had several chances and eventually took the lead after Alessandro Bastoni’s 25-yard drive nestled in the Lazio goal’s bottom corner. The visitors, however, stunned Inter by drawing level just five minutes later, thanks to the dependable Ciro Immobile. It was a historic goal for the Italian star who now joins a select list of goalscorers, including only Robert Lewandowski and Mohamed Salah.
The equaliser reinvigorated the Lazio side, and they went on to enjoy their best spell of the game. Inter, to their credit, remained patient and played their passing game until an opening was found. It came in the 67th minute when Milan Skriniar nodded home Bastoni’s cross.
Lazio did their best to claim a second equaliser on the night but could not find their way past a solid Inter defence. Inzaghi’s side was well worth the money and extended their winning run to eight games. The Hard Tackle looks at how the Nerazzurri players fared on Sunday night.
Samir Handanovic (5/10)
The veteran goalkeeper had little to do given Inter’s dominance. He should, however, have done better to save Immobile’s strike.
Milan Skriniar (6/10)
Skriniar was handed the opportunity to push up the field into midfield, with Lazio pushed back into their own half. He and Stefan de Vrij went blank in the leadup to Lazio’s equaliser and should have done better. Skriniar, to his credit, took his goal well and won the Nerazzurri the three points on the night.
— OptaPaolo 🏆 (@OptaPaolo) January 9, 2022
Stefan de Vrij (6/10)
The Dutchman started the game well and showed off his impressive passing abilities. He had a good chance to open the scoring in the first half but could not take his opportunity. He should also take some of the blame for the role he played in Immobile’s equaliser.
Alessandro Bastoni (8/10)
The Inter ace continues to impress and had Felipe Anderson in his pocket all night. He neutralised the Lazio attack down the right and contributed to the Inter offence. He drove home a brilliant goal in the first half before providing the assist for Skriniar’s winner in the second half.
Alessandro Bastoni has been directly involved in two goals in a single game for the first time in his career.
Defensive Attacker. 👀🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/LZOGhXmgvZ
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) January 9, 2022
Denzel Dumfries (6/10)
The Dutchman started ahead of the more defensive-minded Darmian but was aided in Lazio’s approach of defending deep. He connected well with the players around him and bombed up the flank with great effect. In the second half, he was taken off after coming off worse in an altercation with Mattia Zaccagni.
Nicolo Barella (6/10)
The Italian international was keen to get involved at both ends of the pitch but lacked the killer instinct to make a difference. His intent cannot be faulted, but he could not impact the proceeding as much as he would have liked.
Marcelo Brozovic (7/10)
The regista was excellent on the night and continues to impress at the heart of the Nerazzurri midfield. The Croatian had a couple of nervy moments, but his experience shone through. With his contract winding down, Inter should do all they can to keep him at the club. His importance to Inzaghi’s setup cannot be underestimated.
Roberto Gagliardini (4/10)
He started in place of the suspended Hakan Calhanoglu but endured a forgettable night where he was as useful as a chocolate teapot. He made up the numbers but failed to achieve anything beyond that.
Ivan Perisic (7/10)
The 32-year-old continues to impress as the left wing-back and was impactful at both ends of the pitch. He showed excellent defensive nous to snuff out the Lazio right flank while also driving forward when possible. Perisic missed a glorious chance to put his side in front in the second half.
Alexis Sanchez (6/10)
The Chilean continued his resurgence and looked good on the night. He linked up well with the Inter attackers and showed off excellent movement that caused problems for Lazio and disrupted their formation.
Alexis Sanchez’s first half by numbers vs Lazio:
100% long balls completed
84% pass accuracy
4/6 ground duels won
4 attempted take-ons
3 successful take-ons
2 chances created
A handful in the first 45. ⚡️⚡️ pic.twitter.com/C0h4J9sloa
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) January 9, 2022
Lautaro Martinez (5/10)
The Argentine finished coolly in the first half and looked to have given his side the lead. However, it was ruled out for offside. That proved to be the high point of his performance as Martinez had a rare off night where he failed to be the spark in attack for the defending champions.
Edin Dzeko (5/10)
The veteran striker replaced the ineffective Martinez in the 73rd minute but failed to do any better.
Joaquin Correa (5/10)
The former Lazio star replaced Sanchez in the second half as Inzaghi freshened up his frontline heading into the game’s final minutes. He proved to be a downgrade on Sanchez and lacked any impact going forward.
Matteo Darmian (6/10)
The Italian international replaced Dumfries who struggled to continue after picking up a knock. He was solid in defence but offered little going forward. Given that Inter already had a lead to protect, his lack of attacking nous made little difference.
Arturo Vidal (N/A)
The veteran replaced Barella but failed to add much. He offered solidity in the middle of the park and earned a yellow card for a tackle on Mattia Zaccagni.
Federico Dimarco (N/A)
He replaced Perisic in the 82nd minute and helped Inter see out the game.