Finally it has happened for Inter and Antonio Conte, they are in 1st place in Serie A with 16 games to go as they convincingly beat a strong rival in Lazio 3-1.
Inter had been on the tails of their eternal rivals Milan for the majority of the season and it will be a fantastic feeling to know that they are now kings of the hill so to speak. Milan were outclassed against lowly Spezia losing that game 2-0 in what was seen as a surprise result but Milan were never really in the game.
Inter and Lazio is always a big game and Lazio themselves have had a decent season and even after this defeat are only 2 points from a Champions League place. Inter knew this would be a hard game but Conte’s team dominated play from the first whistle and looked ultra confident throughout their play.
Inter took the lead when Lazio’s Wesley Hoedt committed a foul in the area and the referee pointed to the spot and Hoedt was quickly booked for his actions. Romelu Lukaku stepped up and made no mistakes shooting past Pepe Reina in goal. It was just the right start that the home side needed.
Lukaku made it 2-0 just minutes before half time but not before a VAR review and the goal was in the balance because of Lukaku’s position, the question was did the pass he receive come from his Inter team mate? If so the goal wouldn’t have stood but Lukaku rightly pointed out that the ball had indeed come off of an Lazio defender and the goal stood.
Just after the hour mark Inter were not cruising the game anymore when Lazio struck back after a free kick. The actual free kick was not the problem as the ball was going wide but the ball deflected from Lazio player Gonzalo Escalante and into the net. It was a lucky goal but all of a sudden Inter could feel the pressure at 2-1. It wouldn’t last.
Just three minutes later Inter scored a brilliant goal which would finish the game. Lukaku collected the ball down the right wing and with blistering pace just went past players like they were not there, he squared the ball to an unmarked Lautaro Martinez who scored his 11th goal of the season. The scenes of celebration were wild as the players along with manager Conte embraced.
Even though there was still thirty minutes to play Inter knew they had won this game and indeed it finished 3-1. Inter go top although only by 1 point and there is all to play for. Inter’s next game is against, wait for it…. Milan on Sunday. What a match that will prove to be 1st v 2nd.
Martinez the boy wonder staying with Inter for now
Lautaro Martinez has been brilliant for Inter and has scored 11 goals so far in the league and assisted in another 4 goals. All eyes are on the striker but he is set to stay at Inter, much to the relief of the fans. Martinez is expected to sign a new 3 year contract which would tie him to Inter until June 2024.
Lukaku the 2nd best striker in Europe in the fantasy rankings
The fantasy rankings has Romelu Lukaku as the 2nd best striker in Europe and the Belgian currently has 68 points and has scored 16 goals. He is only 5 points behind the number 1 striker which is currently Tottenham’s Harry Kane. Kane has scored 13 goals so far but has assisted in another 11. Making up the rest of the top 5 are Cristiano Ronaldo, Heung-Min Son and Luis Suarez.
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