Inter 3-1 Lazio: Lukaku's brace sends Nerazzurri top of Serie A

By Sports Desk February 14, 2021

Romelu Lukaku scored twice and assisted another to help Inter to a 3-1 win over Lazio that lifted Antonio Conte's men above bitter rivals Milan to the top of Serie A.

Milan's shock 2-0 loss to Spezia on Saturday opened the door for Inter and they pounced at San Siro on Sunday, taking a one-point lead into next weekend's huge Derby della Madonnina.

Lazio were furious with the awarding of Inter's 22nd-minute penalty as replays appeared to show Wesley Hoedt, drafted in after Stefan Radu was injured in the warm-up, got some of the ball before taking out Lautaro Martinez.

Lukaku converted and added a second ahead of half-time with the assistance of VAR, before teeing up Martinez to seal the points after Gonzalo Escalante had given Lazio some temporary hope.

There had been little between the sides prior to the controversial penalty call, with the VAR standing by referee Michael Fabbri's decision to point to the spot for Hoedt's challenge on Martinez.

Lukaku sent Pepe Reina the wrong way to extend his perfect penalty record in Serie A to 10 from 10, and the Belgium international did not have to wait long for the landmark 300th career goal for club and country.

It had an element of fortune about it as Marcelo Brozovic slid in on Manuel Lazzari and the ball ricocheted into the striker's path, though it took a lengthy VAR check to ascertain that Lukaku was level with the last man when the initial pass was played.

Lazio had found the net in each of their past 17 league outings, however, and they kept that run going when Sergej Milinkovic-Savic's free-kick heavily deflected off substitute Escalante and beat Samir Handanovic on his 500th Serie A appearance.

But just when the visitors had some momentum on their side, Lukaku charged down the right, held off Marco Parolo and unselfishly squared the ball for Martinez to tap into an empty net.

Reina denied Lukaku a hat-trick with a good save down low but Inter, knocked out of the Coppa Italia by Juventus in midweek, retained their two-goal cushion to move to the summit.

Related items

  • Morocco 2-1 Malawi: Hakimi stunner sends Atlas Lions through to AFCON quarter-finals Morocco 2-1 Malawi: Hakimi stunner sends Atlas Lions through to AFCON quarter-finals

    Morocco booked their place in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals as Achraf Hakimi's stunning free-kick sealed a 2-1 win over Malawi.

    The Paris Saint-Germain full-back struck 20 minutes from time at Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo after Youssef En-Nesyri cancelled out Gabadinho Mhango's magnificent early effort.

    After scraping through Group B in third place, Malawi were making their first appearance in the AFCON knockout stages.

    The Flames took a surprise lead in the seventh minute, Mhango catching Yassine Bounou off his line with a wonderful 40-yard lob.

    Morocco had only lost one of their previous 11 games when facing an opponent in the competition for the first time.

    Vahid Halilhodzic's side equalised in first-half stoppage time as En-Nesyri headed home from Selim Amallah's deep cross.

    The contest looked possibly set for extra time until Hakimi emphatically beat Charles Thomu from 30 yards to send his nation through to the last eight, where they will face Ivory Coast or Egypt.

  • Bailey expected to return to full Villa training in two weeks Bailey expected to return to full Villa training in two weeks

    Aston Villa forward Leon Bailey is closing in on a return to the first team, having spent over a month on the sidelines due to injury.

    The Jamaica international was forced to leave the field before halftime after pulling up against Manchester City early in December.

    The injury was similar to one the player had suffered against Aston Villa in September when he was also sidelined for several weeks.  Having missed out on the Jamaica Reggae Boyz three matches for the upcoming international window, Aston Villa coach Steven Gerrard believes the period will provide the player with plenty of time to slowly ease himself back into action.

    “Leon is not too far away and we are hoping to have him back in the next two weeks.

    “The (winter) break will benefit Leon as he won’t miss many more games,” Gerrard said.

    “Hopefully in two weeks’ time he is ready to train with the group,” he added.

    The 24-year-old who moved from Bayer Leverkusen for an estimated £25million last summer has had a stop-start beginning to life at Villa Park but has shown plenty of promise whenever he has managed to get time on the pitch.  He has scored once in 9 appearances.

  • Watford appoint Hodgson as Ranieri successor Watford appoint Hodgson as Ranieri successor

    Watford have appointed former England boss Roy Hodgson as their new manager.

    Hodgson, 74, takes over from Claudio Ranieri, who was sacked on Monday after just three months in the role.

    Ray Lewington, who was Watford boss from 2002 to 2005 and has worked extensively as Hodgson's assistant manager, has also joined the club.

    Hodgson's coaching career stretches back to 1976, when he took charge of Swedish side Halmstad for four years.

    His club career has seen him manage teams ranging from Inter, Liverpool and Udinese to Blackburn Rovers and Neuchatel Xamax, while he has also coached the national teams of Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and Finland.

    A fan favourite at Fulham after leading them to the Europa League final in 2010, Hodgson became England boss two years later, reaching the quarter-finals of Euro 2012.

    His Three Lions tenure proved disappointing on the big stage, though, with England exiting the 2014 World Cup at the group stage before being knocked out of Euro 2016 by Iceland, after which he left the role.

    A four-year spell back in the Premier League with Crystal Palace followed, with Hodgson ensuring their survival after they lost the first seven games of the 2017-18 season before guiding them to 49 points in 2018-19, equalling their best ever tally.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.