Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi wanted the 3-2 win over Crotone ‘at all costs’ but admitted it was a ‘painful’ three points on Friday.
The Aquile hosted Crotone for an unusual 14.00 UK time kick-off at the Olimpico and the home side were pushed by a resistant Rossoblu, who cancelled out their lead twice in an entertaining start to Serie A Week 27.
“It’s a win we wanted at all costs,” Inzaghi told Sky Sport Italia after the match. “We lost to Bologna, Juventus, Bayern and Inter.
“We had to do better, we missed the three points from Bologna, but we’ve all adapted well in recent years.
“It was a painful win, the team threw their hearts over the obstacle.”
Inzaghi felt he saw ‘the usual Lazio’ against Serse Cosmi’s men, as Simy pulled Crotone back twice in the five-goal thriller.
“I saw the usual Lazio. The second goal is a break from a corner kick, [Mohamed] Fares has to follow the man at the back.
“We lost concentration. The changes helped us, we won an important match.”
Felipe Caicedo came off the bench to score the match-winning goal.
“We know his importance, I thought I’d let him start,” Inzaghi added. “When he is well, he’s a great asset.
“He made us win the game, together with the others. Those who came on did well. We also had the growth of [Vedat] Muriqi, but we know what [Ciro] Immobile and [Joaquin] Correa give us.”
Immobile has now gone five League games without scoring, but Inzaghi is not worried about the Italy international who has bagged 14 goals in Serie A this term.
“He had this problem last year too, he had a series of matches where he didn’t score,” Inzaghi said. “He’s very strong, he has to believe in himself and he’ll be back to scoring soon.
“I preferred to keep the two mezzalas, otherwise they would have played with three up front.”
Stefan Radu provided a beautiful assist for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s opener and Inzaghi stressed his recovery has helped the team.
“We know the importance he has in our game,” he said. “We were in an excellent moment, then Luiz Felipe’s and Radu’s injuries were heavy.
“With them on the pitch we won and returned to the Champions League, a strong team must go on without them. [Luiz Felipe] will be ready in a month.”
Lazio now prepare for the return leg against Bayern Munich, but trail the Germans 4-1 after the first leg at the Olimpico.
“We will go to play the match,” Inzaghi said. “Qualifying for the round of 16 was supposed to be the great target and it was.
“Then, let’s talk about Bayern who scored seven goals at Tottenham and eight at Barcelona.
“We know our potential, we have made an extraordinary path in the Champions League."