A wonder goal by Ogenyi Onazi diminished Inter’s hopes of a Europa League spot next season as they were defeated 3-1 by Lazio in their league fixture on Wednesday evening.
It was a game with a comedy of errors by Inter as Samir Handanovic flapped the effort which led to Sergio Floccari’s goal, while Ricky Alvarez slipped on the spot to miss a possible equalising penalty.
With Inter sitting two points below Lazio in the Serie A log, the game posed as the battle to see who would take a step closer in qualifying for the final Europa League spot.
Inter got off to a promising start when they forced Federico Marchetti into making a crucial save in the second minute, following a Ricky Alvarez shot which he pushed out from under the near post.
The goalkeeper then suffered a heavy blow after he rushed off his line and collided with his own player, but after receiving medical attention to his shoulder he managed to continue.
Then in the 11th minute, Mateo Kovavic showed off his skills by slaloming through Lazio’s defence before unleashing a ball to Tomasso Rocchi. The striker whipped a shot from the edge of the box which, again, forced Marchetti into making a great save.
Despite their hard work, it was Lazio who drew the first blood, in the 22nd minute, with Samir Handanovic completely at fault for the goal. He rushed off his line in an attempt to punch the ball away, but failed to connect with it and, in a scramble in the box, it struck Sergio Floccari’s torso and rolled into the back of the net.
Straight after the restart, Lazio sliced open through Inter’s defence and Miroslav Klose went one-on-one with Handanovic. Much to Inter’s relief, however, the German’s effort went out at the far post.
The in the 33rd minute, Ricky Alvarez responded with the equaliser after he nodded home Alvaro Pereira’s cross from the right flank.
Alvarez then missed the perfect opportunity to make it 2-1 after he fired a loose ball in the box over the goalposts, despite Marchetti having left the door wide open for him.
On the stroke of the half time whistle Lazio were awarded a penalty after Andrea Ranocchia clipped the heels of Sergio Floccari inside the box. Hernanes made no error in converting the spot kick to hand Lazio the lead for the second time in the game.
Inter came out pressing hard for their second equalizer and Freddy Gaurin came very close in the 48th minute with a snapshot which drove just outside of the post.
Inter already had to withdraw Johnathan due to injury, and were forced into making another sub as Ranocchia made way for the young Simone Pasa.
A penalty was then awarded to Inter with 20 minutes to go and they shockingly failed to take advantage of it as Alvarez skewed his spot-kick over the bar after slipping on the spot.
That miss proved costly as the substitute Ogenyi Onazi struck a beautiful effort, in the 76th minute and from 20-yards out, which drove into the top right hand corner to give Lazio a 3-1 lead and the victory.