Lazio earned their first victory at San Siro in 15 years in a dramatic match, as Inter missed a penalty and made some costly errors. Losing seven of the last nine rounds, the Nerazzurri are out of the race for Europe.
Both sides started with such high hopes and were now just desperate for the season to end as they slid down the standings. The Biancocelesti halted the rot with a 6-0 victory over Bologna on Sunday afternoon, in which Miroslav Klose became the first Serie A player since 1986 to score five in a single game. Ederson, Stefano Mauri and Cristian Brocchi were absent. Inter had lost six of the previous eight rounds and the injury crisis included the likes of Javier Zanetti, Rodrigo Palacio, Diego Milito, Antonio Cassano, Walter Gargano and Walter Samuel, so Tommaso Rocchi faced his former club.
Lazio’s last Serie A win here was a 5-3 in October 1998, followed by six draws and seven consecutive defeats.
There was tension in the stadium before kick-off, as the Inter curva was filled with banners setting out a form of poem protesting against the club’s direction.
Ricky Alvarez stung Federico Marchetti’s gloves in the opening minute, then Rocchi ran on to a Mateo Kovacic through ball to again force Marchetti into a tough save under the bar.
Lazio took the lead in bizarre fashion. Samir Handanovic completely mistimed his attempt to punch an Antonio Candreva cross, so it ricocheted into the empty net off a combination of Sergio Floccari’s shoulder and Juan Jesus.
Less than a minute later Candreva should’ve made it 2-0 on the counter, but drilled wide when one-on-one with Handanovic.
The injury crisis deteriorated further, as Jonathan went off with a shoulder problem to make way for Marco Benassi. Lazio threatened again, as Handanovic beat away a Candreva snapshot and Benassi scrambled to clear before Floccari could tap in.
Inter equalised with another rather strange finish, as his header deflected in off Stefan Radu’s shoulder to go under the bar.
Marchetti flew to palm a fierce Esteban Cambiasso strike on to the upright, but Alvarez somehow failed to put Inter in front before the break. A cross ricocheted around until it fell to Alvarez undisturbed from six yards who incredibly chipped it over the bar with the inside of his boot.
Alvarez had another great opportunity to tap in from a couple of yards, but this time Lorik Cana dived in to clear before he could get the shot away.
Deep into stoppages, Andrea Ranocchia stood on Floccari’s heel as he prepared to tap in from six yards, so the referee pointed to the spot and booked the defender. Hernanes stepped up and converted powerfully under the bar with the last kick of the first half.
A Fredy Guarin screamer flashed across the face of goal, but Ranocchia went off with an injury. Marchetti needed two touches to get a Mateo Kovacic snapshot under control, while Guarin pounced on a poor Abdoulay Konko header only to clip the upright.
Inter had penalty appeals for a Cana handling offence, but the ball seemed to strike him from point-blank range. Moments later, Cana did give away a penalty, as he tripped Guarin when confused by the change of direction. However, Alvarez stepped up and slipped as he was taking the kick, ballooning it over the bar! San Siro was muttering its malcontent at this latest setback.
Hernanes almost extended Lazio’s lead with a screamer that Handanovic flew to beat away, then Marchetti did the same on Guarin’s blockbuster.
Eddy Onazi scored his debut Serie A goal and what a strike it was! The youngster unleashed a rocket from 25 metres that flew into the top corner where Handanovic had absolutely no chance.
In stoppages Marchetti used his legs to parry from former teammate Rocchi.
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Missed penalty: Alvarez 70 (I)