Simone Inzaghi explains his tactical decisions, substitutions and regrets after Lazio lost 3-1 to counter-attacking Inter. ‘We knew they could play like this.’
The Biancocelesti had won six consecutive Serie A games, but despite having over 65 per cent possession at San Siro, they didn’t test Samir Handanovic enough.
Their only goal came from a Sergej Milinkovic-Savic free kick deflected off Gonzalo Escalante, while Inter were decisive on the counter-attack.
“There are regrets, because we probably could’ve earned more. We knew Inter could play like this, we had more possession and double their passes, so losing 3-1 there are going to be regrets,” Inzaghi told Sky Sport Italia.
“We got too irritated, which is a shame, because penalties like that can happen. Inter did well to defend very deep and we struggled to find spaces.
“Once we did get back into the game, we shouldn’t have allowed the third goal straight away on the counter. The team put in a good performance, but we could’ve had more.”
Inzaghi made some surprising substitutions at half-time, taking off Wesley Hoedt and Lucas Leiva for Marco Parolo and Escalante, then replacing Ciro Immobile and Luis Alberto too.
“Hoedt had done well, but he was booked and I didn’t want the risk of going down to 10 on the counter. Escalante came on and gave his contribution.”
Losing Stefan Radu in the warm-up was a huge blow for Inzaghi, but he never considered playing defend and counter here.
“We had tested Francesco Acerbi all week in defence on Lukaku, as I wanted a left-footer, but then we lost Stefan Radu at the last minute, so that changed our plans.
“We couldn’t come to San Siro and clam up in defence, that just wasn’t part of our approach. So with Radu injured, we had to make some changes and I went for Hoedt.
“I wanted to keep Lautaro and Lukaku as far away from the box as possible, as that is where they are dangerous. We were winning six in a row, we’d lost at San Siro against Milan in an incredible fashion, so I believed we could take the initiative here and win.
“Unfortunately, we were passing it around well, but couldn’t find any spaces. I made the changes so we could seek the wingers to put crosses in.”
There was some controversy over the penalty that broke the deadlock, but VAR showed why it was the correct decision.
“Inter deserve congratulations, as I congratulated my team too, as I explained that the penalty looks dubious, but seeing it again you do see the touch. The lads were upset because the referee was so decisive in pointing to the spot after three seconds, so that annoyed them.
“I would’ve preferred for the referee to see it again with the on-field review, the lads might’ve felt less upset if he had gone to at least review it. I would’ve preferred to lose to a counter-attack than a penalty like that, as we were dominating the game and it changed the whole atmosphere.”