Soccer-Lazio inflict first defeat of the season on champions Inter


Soccer Football - Serie A - Lazio v Inter Milan - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - October 16, 2021 Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

ROME (Reuters) -Felipe Anderson and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored late to complete a 3-1 comeback win for Lazio against Serie A champions Inter Milan in Rome on Saturday, as Simone Inzaghi fell to his first league defeat as Inter coach against his former club.

Ivan Perisic’s penalty put Inter in front at the break, but Ciro Immobile levelled in the second half with a spot kick of his own.

Anderson then fired Lazio ahead after 81 minutes, leaving Inter players furious that the hosts continued playing while the Nerazzurri had a man down, but Milinkovic-Savic made sure of victory with a close-range header in stoppage time.

"For an hour we put in one of our best performances. Then we conceded a penalty and when the strange second goal arrived we lost our heads," Inzaghi told DAZN.

"This must not happen. It can happen that the referee does not blow his whistle or the opponent does not put the ball out. But Milinkovic-Savic was alone for the third goal."

Inter’s first defeat of the season leaves them third in the standings on 17 points, with Lazio moving up to fifth place, three points behind them.

It was an emotional day for Inzaghi, who left Lazio in the off-season after 22 years there as a player and coach to take charge of Inter, and returned for the first time as an opposing manager.

The 45-year-old was warmly greeted by the home crowd, with a banner held up saying “22 years with our colours will not be forgotten”, and it was Inzaghi’s side who took charge early on.

Perisic converted from the spot on the 12th minute after Elseid Hysaj tripped Nicolo Barella in the box, and the Croatian came close to a second before the break when his powerful strike was well saved by Pepe Reina.

The home side were struggling to find a way through a resolute visiting defence until they were awarded a penalty of their own on the 64th minute for an Alessandro Bastoni handball, which Immobile dispatched.

But the game truly came to life in the final 10 minutes. Anderson’s equaliser, a rebound from a Samir Handanovic parry, sparked an angry reaction from the Inter players, as the counter-attack leading to the goal came while Federico Dimarco was lying on the pitch with an injury.

The goal was checked by VAR and allowed to stand and Lazio went on to add a third on the 91st minute, nodding in a Luis Alberto free-kick.

However, scuffles between players reignited after the full-time whistle and Biancocelesti defender Luiz Felipe was shown a red card.

Earlier on Saturday, Spezia came from behind to beat second-bottom Salernitana 2-1 and move up to 15th place in what could prove to be a crucial result in the relegation battle.

(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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