MILAN (AP) — Inter Milan dropped its first points of the fledgling Serie A when it lost at Lazio 3-1 on Friday.
Lazio coach Maurizio Sarri’s substitutions made the difference as Pedro and Luis Alberto came off the bench to score two goals in the final 15 minutes after Inter forward Lautaro Martínez cancelled out Felipe Anderson’s opener.
“The intensity of Inter’s midfield appeared to be dropping so I could risk putting on two less physical but very technical players,” Sarri said.
The result moved Lazio a point above Inter after two wins and a draw for the capital side in its opening three matches.
“Our problem has always been consistency, so we have to manage this result well and try to follow up on it, take the positive energy it can give us without thinking that it will be easier against another team,” Sarri added.
Inter was one of only three teams in Serie A with maximum points from its first two matches, along with Roma and Napoli, but knew it faced its sternest test yet at coach Simone Inzaghi’s former club.
It was end to end in Rome and played at a high tempo. Lazio broke the deadlock five minutes before halftime when Sergej Milinković-Savić lifted a ball over the top and Felipe Anderson got in front of Inter defenders Federico Dimarco and Alessandro Bastoni to head into the bottom left corner.
Inter leveled six minutes after the break, however. Lazio failed to clear a free kick and Denzel Dumfries nodded it back to Martínez, who just got in front of teammate Romelu Lukaku to fire in from close range.
Dumfries almost gave Inter the lead moments later but his header at point-blank range was fantastically palmed away by Lazio goalkeeper Ivan Provedel.
Sarri made his changes shortly after, sending on Pedro and Luis Alberto for Mattia Zaccagni and Matías Vecino.
They proved the difference as Milinković-Savić whipped in a cross from the right and Pedro cut it back for Luis Alberto to power into the top right corner from 20 yards.
Pedro got on the scoresheet when he leapt onto a loose ball, following contact in the area between Ciro Immobile and Inter defender Matteo Darmian, and curled it into the top right corner to seal the match with four minutes remaining.
Udinese earned its first victory by coming from behind to win at Monza 2-1 and leave Silvio Berlusconi’s club still seeking its first points in Serie A.
Monza was bought by former Italian premier and ex-AC Milan owner Berlusconi in 2017 and reached the top-flight for the first time in its 110-year history by winning the Serie B playoff last season.
However, it has lost its first three Serie A matches.
Udinese’s comeback was complete 13 minutes from time with a move started and finished by Destiny Udogie. Isaac Success collected Udogie’s throw-in and passed back to the on-loan Tottenham forward, who played a swift one-two with Ilija Nestorovski before firing in the winner.
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