Ciro Immobile and Stefano Sensi both saw red as Inter were held to a 1-1 draw by Lazio in an ill-tempered Serie A clash at Stadio Olimpico.
Lautaro Martinez kept up his fine start to the season to open the scoring in the 30th minute of Sunday’s clash, lashing in a shot which Thomas Strakosha failed to keep out.
But with Romelu Lukaku wasting a chance to double Inter’s lead, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s brilliant header restored parity.
Lazio’s hopes of a comeback were dented in the 69th minute as Immobile, who managed just one shot from 26 touches in a frustrating individual display, saw red for slapping Arturo Vidal.
Inter almost snatched the points in the closing stages when Marcelo Brozovic struck the woodwork, before Nerazzurri substitute Sensi received his marching orders for hitting Patric.
— S.S.Lazio (@OfficialSSLazio) October 4, 2020
Having lost Stefan Radu to injury, Lazio had the first meaningful attempt in the 19th minute, with Samir Handanovic palming Luis Alberto’s strike over.
Handanovic’s goalkeeping counterpart Strakosha failed to cover himself in glory as Inter hit the front 11 minutes later – the Lazio man only able to parry Martinez’s low effort into the net.
Ivan Perisic bundled the ball into Martinez for that goal, and the winger would have had his second assist had Achraf Hakimi put a header on target.
Lukaku was inches away from adding a second after the restart, with Martinez then firing just wide of the upright.
Yet Lazio soon hit back, as Milinkovic-Savic sent a towering header in at the back post after connecting with Francesco Acerbi’s excellent cross.
Lazio looked good for a second but their efforts were derailed when Immobile reacted badly to a challenge by Vidal, who made the most of it. The referee sent Lazio’s talisman straight off.
Brozovic saw a deflected effort clip off the post as Inter pressed to make their numerical advantage count, only for Sensi to receive a red card for violent conduct as both sides settled for a point.
What does it mean? Defence a cause for concern for Conte
Inter have scored 10 goals in their opening three league games this season – the most they have scored at this stage of a Serie A campaign is 13 goals, in 1960/61. However, they give up far too many chances at the other end, and Antonio Conte must find a way to shore things up if they are to truly challenge on all fronts this term.
Martinez keeps up his form
Three games, three goals in Italy’s top flight for Martinez this season. The Argentine forward had three shots in total, with his goal the only one on target. He managed 32 touches and created one chance, with Inter’s best attacking play coming through him.
Immobile’s red caps disappointing day
Immobile was the leading scorer in Serie A last term, but the 30-year-old cost his side a great opportunity to push on and get three points with his rash reaction to Vidal’s tackle. Of sides that he has faced at least three times with Lazio in Serie A, Inter are the only one against which Immobile has not found the net, excluding penalties.
Key Opta stats
– Lazio have gained 20 points from a losing position in 2020 – at full-time in this game that was a higher total than any other team in the top five European Leagues.
– Martínez has scored four goals in his last five league games, as many as he managed in his previous 16 appearances for Inter.
– Milinkovic-Savic has scored three goals in his last four games against Inter in Serie A.
– Immobile was red-carded for the first time in almost three years in Serie A, having last been dismissed in December 2017 against Torino.
It is the small matter of the Milan derby coming up on October 17 for Inter, while Lazio face Sampdoria on the same day.
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