It was Romelu Lukaku night as Inter Milan return to winning ways with a 3-1 victory over Lazio. The Belgian international strike a brace in a four goal thriller as Internazionale climbs top of the Serie table.
Antonio Conte’s men bowed out of the Coppa Italia at the semi-final stage following a goalless draw that ensured the Turin qualified with a 2-1 aggregate on Tuesday night. Despite the disappointing night 5 days ago, Lukaku was able to find his foot to hit a brace.
Lukaku scored twice in the first half as the former Red Devils mark a 300th career goal. It was Gonzalo Escalante turn to net the only consolation goal for the visitors. Lautaro Martinez strikes the third after to secured the three points at San Siro
Speaking after the game, Conte praised the team for a great display.
“Romelu, like the whole team, gave a great response. Lautaro did, so did Ivan Perisic, the defenders, Marcelo Brozovic. They all stepped up.
“Some were starting to murmur about Lukaku after the Coppa Italia and a few lacklustre performances, suggesting he had some psychological blowback from that, but there are moments when you are not at 100 per cent,” he asserts.
“He came back firing on all cylinders and we need this Romelu. We need this determination and passion from everyone in the team.”
Inter has experience and talent squad, Conte belief his players did a great job. Inter bounced from the Coppa Italia defeat to sub-pass AC Millan to the top.
Conte also talked of Eriksen, who signed from Tottenham in January 2020 amid speculation linking him with an exit last month. The Danish playmaker has fail impressed, something Conte puts down to becoming familiar with the requirements of Italian football.
“I think Christian had a few problems settling in, understanding Italian football, which is very difficult and tactical compared to the Premier League. There is also a far greater intensity now than in previous years here,” Conte added.
“We tried in every way to settle him in, even changing tactical system. I think now he has made a step towards us, is starting to understand Italian, which is an important development too. He is understanding what we need,” he concluded.
Inter is up for a huge challenge in the Milan derby clash with rivals Milan. Conte relishes the challenge after seeing off a Lazio side that had won six straight league games. It’s a match that is sure to impact the title race as the two are one point off with inter at the top.