Antonio Candreva obtained Lazio off to a good start, but the Brazilian playmaker who once dazzled at the Stadio Olimpico continued to twice exploit lapses in discipline from Champions League-chasing Lazio. He converted a free-kick following Mauricio was delivered off and made use of the extra space created when goalkeeper Federico Marchetti saw red — Mauro Icardi had missed from the spot but Hernanes made amends late on. The Biancocelesti stay a point behind their second-placed city rivals Roma with three matches leftover, while Inter jump two places to seventh and are now just four points shy of a Europa League berth.
Lazio made the perfect beginning by opening the scoring after only 9 minutes. Felipe Anderson did all the hard work as he accelerated into Inter’s box prior to touching the ball across to Candreva, who turned it home easily. The Nerazzurri might have equalised 5 minutes later when Icardi was presented with an easy finish but, with Federico Marchetti stranded, the Argentinian somehow condemned the ball over the bar. Lazio loved a double opportunity to lengthen their guide with Marco Parolo drawing a desperate save from Samir Handanovic before Andrea Ranocchia launched a diving header to deny the Lazio midfielder’s follow-up effort.
The capital club had been prominent but Mauricio’s dismissal for a last-man foul on Rodrigo Palacio provided Inter a way back into the game. They capitalised fully on the red card as Hernanes sent the resultant free-kick round the wall and past his previous teammate Marchetti, celebrating with a somersault instead of restraining himself. Inter tried to turn the screw prior to the break, but neither Palacio nor Fredy Guarin could turn the match on its head, thanks to a pair of good conserves from Marchetti. It was Handanovic’s turn to impress on the hour mark as he pulled off an amazing stop from Miroslav Klose following Candreva had put the German through.
Lazio were soon decreased to nine men when Marchetti brought Icardi down, and the previous Sampdoria forward gleefully selected himself up and ready to take the penalty. Replacement goalkeeper Etrit Berisha denied him, though, guessing correctly and diving to his left. Despite making such a decisive effect from the bench, the Albanian keeper knew he’d spend the next 30 minutes facing an assault, and he did hold out for some time. The weakened Lazio backline lastly let him down in the 84th minute, however, as Palacio’s clever backheel permitted Hernanes to waltz into an easy one-on-one.