In what was a heavyweight showdown from Serie A on Friday night, Lazio laid down a clinical marker as they stormed their way to a 3-1 romp against Inter Milan.
Extending on their unbeaten start to the 2022/23 campaign, goals from Felipe Anderson, Luis Alberto and Pedro wrapped up a famous victory for Maurizio Sarri’s side.
While Lazio might have briefly skyrocketed their way to the top of Italy’s top-flight, there is no doubt that Inter would have simply been desperate to get away from the Stadio Olimpico.
Crashing back down to earth after opening the new season with back-to-back Serie A wins, we have taken a look at what we learned from Friday’s battle in Rome.
Sarri gets the response he was demanding
While Lazio might have opened the 2022/23 campaign on August 14th with a hard-fought 2-1 victory at home against Bologna, the former Chelsea boss saw his side put in a toothless display last weekend.
Missing out on what they had billed as a golden chance as they had to settle for a 0-0 stalemate away at Torino, Sarri really couldn’t have wished for a better response here.
Eventually bagging a trio of strikes on Friday night and knowing that they could have easily scored a handful more, Lazio have also gained a reputation for their rugged displays on home soil.
in fact, aside from that dreadful 3-0 defeat against bitter rivals Roma back in March, Sarri’s side have lost just one of their previous nine Serie A matchups at the Stadio Olimpico continuing on from last season.
Questions for Inter to answer
Eventually falling two points adrift of retaining their Serie A crown last season, it is no secret that Inter Milan have their sights set on righting that wrong this time around.
However, despite opening the 2022/23 campaign with back-to-back victories against Leece and Spezia, Simone Inzaghi’s men rather worryingly failed to deal with a step-up in class here.
Blown away at the Stadio Olimpico and failing to ask any real questions in Rome, the ex-Lazio boss will know that he has growing pressure on his shoulders.
Left with egg on his face after being outmaneuvered by his former employers, the 46-year-old has seen his side show some signs of a summer hangover.
Signing off their pre-season preparations by failing to win any of their final four friendly appearances, Inzaghi will know that stability is key.
Lazio can mount a Champions League charge
While Lazio might have had their name in the hat for Friday’s Europa League group stage draw, the Biancocelesti might still be wondering what could have been.
Despite it being announced that the Italian icons will share Group F alongside Feyenoord, Midtjylland and Strum, Sarri’s side will feel that they should be featuring in Europe’s elite tournament.
Eventually finishing six points adrift of securing a top-four finish back in May, Lazio have another Champions League charge at the top of their agenda.
Now managing to muster seven points from their opening three Serie A appearances, Monday’s hosts have remarkably clinched just a single top-four finish since 2015.
However, underlining their qualities in Rome and with attacking talisman Ciro Immobile already opening his top-flight account, Sarri’s side have certainly laid down an early marker.
Martinez offers Inter some hope
While Romelu Lukaku might have stollen plenty of headlines after making an almost immediate return to the San Siro on a season-long loan deal from Chelsea, Lautaro Martinez has been Inter’s standout performer so far this year.
Although Lukaku might have marked his Serie A return with a strike against Leece on the opening weekend, the Belgium marksman has failed to build off of that early statement in Milan.
However, with Martinez dragging Inter level on Friday night just six minutes after the half-time interval, the Argentina international was arguably the only positive note for Inzaghi’s title contenders.
Already bagging two goals from Inter’s opening three top-flight appearances, fans around the San Siro know how important the 25-year-old is to their charge this season.
Despite once again being linked with a big-money move to the Premier League over recent months, Martinez is proving himself to be Inter’s real MVP.
Lazio: Provedel, Lazzari, Patric, Romagnoli, Marusic, Milinkovic-Savic, Cataldi, Vecino, Anderson, Immobile, Zaccagni
Subs: Alberto, Pedro, Antonio, Cancellieri, Hysaj
Inter Milan: Handanovic, Skriniar, de Vrij, Bastoni, Dimarco, Brozovic, Gagliardini, Barella, Dumfries, Lukaku, Martinez
Subs: Calhanoglu, Correa, Darmian, Dzeko, Gosens
Goals: Lazio: Anderson (40′), Alberto (75′), Pedro (86′) – Inter Milan: Martinez (51′)
Yellow Cards: Lazio: Marusic, Zaccagni – Inter Milan: Brozovic
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Michael Fabbri