A wonder goal from Luis Alberto helped Lazio to a 3-1 victory over Inter Milan in a close-fought Serie A encounter at the Stadio Olimpico.
The first half was slow and lethargic, but the second had greater impetus from both sides as they fought it out for an important three points early in their domestic campaigns.
Felipe Anderson put the hosts ahead on 40 minutes - against the run of play - as he nodded a Sergej Milinkovic-Savic cross beyond the helpless Samir Handanovic, with the Brazilian ghosting in behind the visiting defence after the home side's initial attacking phase seemed to have slowed.
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However, Simone Inzaghi's visitors re-emerged from the interval revitalised, Lautaro Martinez stealing in ahead of home goalkeeper Ivan Provedel to equalise after some questionable Lazio defensive communication.
Ciro Immobile was denied by a smart stop from Handanovic at the Slovenian's near post, while Romelu Lukaku was quiet throughout, being replaced with 20 minutes to go by Edin Dzeko.
It seemed that neither sides' substitutes could come up with the goods to break the stalemate, until Alberto, sent on by Maurizio Sarri to create things in place of the more defensive-minded Matias Vecino, came up with an absolute howitzer to win the game for Le Aquile.
Inter pressed for another equaliser as Dzeko nodded over under pressure from goalscorer Anderson after a Hakan Calhanoglu cross-shot took a wicked deflection.
But Pedro curled home to put the game beyond doubt with a sumptuous finish, ensuring that Inzaghi endured a miserable return to his former employers.
A huge win for the hosts, as they look to build early-season momentum in their top-four hunt, while Inter's perfect start to the league season is over with yet another defeat in the capital for La Beneamata.

Lautaro Martínez (Inter Mailand) against Lazio Rom

Image credit: Getty Images


Out of the two sides' squad depth, one would assume that Inter would be in better condition to rely on their men off the bench, but it was quite the opposite as Maurizio Sarri had two of his own to thank, turning the game in the hosts' favour.
Luis Alberto, formerly of Liverpool, was the catalyst as his creativity, movement and link-up play built a strong foundation for the home side to regain their composure after an early second-half setback. It was the Spaniard who then fired Lazio in front once more, sending the home fans into delirium with his strike from range.
Pedro was also a late arrival, replacing Mattia Zeccagni, who had struggled to get the better of Denzel Dumfries, who had been the best player on the pitch in the first 45 minutes. The experienced winger used his nous to full effect, turning provider for Alberto's wonder strike, before netting his own pearler, curling one beautifully away from Handanovic.

Milinkovic-Savic et De Vrij lors de Lazio - Inter

Image credit: Getty Images


We usually don't like awarding the player of the match to a substitute, but when one has the effect that Alberto did, it's hard not to. The Spaniard was an instant upgrade to Vecino in the engine room, adding dynamism and attacking verve to the hosts' build-up play.
Vecino had been giving defensive solidity up to his withdrawal, but Sarri was bold enough to make the offensive change in search of a winner. Boy, did he get it.


Lazio: Provedel 6, Lazzari 6, Patric 6, Romangoli 6, Marusic 6, M-Savic 7, Cataldi 6, Vecino 6, Anderson 7, Immobile 7, Zaccagni 5. Subs: Alberto 8, Pedro 7, Hysaj 6, Cancellieri 6, Antonio 6.
Inter: Handanovic 7, Skriniar 6, De Vrij 6, Bastoni 6, Dumfries 7, Barella 5, Brozovic 6, Gagliardini 6, Dimarco 5, Lukaku 5, Martinez 6. Subs: Dzeko 6, Darmian 6, Gosens 6, Calhanoglu 6, Correa 6.


40' GOAL! Lazio 1-0 Inter (Anderson): They're ahead, and they deserve it! Lazio with the counterpunch, as Felipe Anderson ghosts in at the far post to nod past Handanovic! It seemed as though the Lazio attack had slowed down as Anderson was initially ignored, but Milinkovic-Savic's delicious cross was converted by the Brazilian to make it 1-0.
47' CLOSE! Immobile drives forward with menace and Handanovic just gets down at his near post to deny the Italian!
51' GOAL! Lazio 1-1 Inter (Martinez): Inter are back on level terms after a mix-up at the back for Lazio, and it all stemmed from a Dimarco inswinging free kick. Dumfries kept the ball alive, and it fell nicely for Martinez, who ghosted in behind to nick it ahead of Provedel. 1-1.
52' GREAT SAVE! Dumfries! A great cross from Dimarco, and the Dutchman has a free header at the far post, but he's denied from close range by the home goalkeeper
75' WHAT A GOAL! Lazio 2-1 Inter (Alberto): What a goal! Luis Alberto with a wonderstrike! An absolute howitzer from the Spaniard, as it rockets from range beyond Handanovic! It's 2-1!
86' GOAL! Lazio 3-1 Inter (Pedro): Pedro curls it home, and it's 3-1! Gorgeous finish, game over.


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