Inter sweep past Lazio to reach Italian Supercup final

Goals from Marcus Thuram and Davide Frattesi, along with a Hakan Calhanoglu penalty, propelled Inter Milan to a 3-0 victory over Lazio in the Italian Supercup semi-final on Friday, securing their place in the final against Napoli.

Inter Milan’s French forward #09 Marcus Thuram celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the Italian Super Cup semi-final football match between Inter and Lazio at Al-Awwal Park Stadium in Riyadh, on January 19(AFP)

After 17 minutes of continuous Inter pressure, Federico Dimarco conjured up a moment of magic with a skilful heel flick, setting up Thuram, who effortlessly tapped in the ball to break the deadlock for the Milan side.

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Inter continued to press after the break, with Calhanoglu doubling the lead five minutes in from the penalty spot after Lazio’s Pedro Rodriguez had fouled Lautaro Martinez.

Inter scored again three minutes before time when an unmarked Frattesi received the ball just outside the box after a counter-attack and effortlessly put it away.

Simone Inzaghi’s side now have an opportunity to secure their third consecutive Supercup, with this year’s format for the first time involving four teams.

“We had never played this format before but this is what football is like now, we have to adapt and I congratulated the lads tonight as I really enjoyed myself watching them,” Inzaghi told Mediaset.

“The players did so well, we had a great performance, immediately had the right approach. Now we are in the final, we must try to recover energy over two days as it is going to be very difficult against Napoli.”

For Lazio coach Maurizio Sarri, it was a forgettable night as his team failed to register a single shot on target.

“It was clear within four or five minutes. It is clear there is a big difference between us and them but at the same time the difference is not as large as it appeared to be tonight,” Sarri said.

“We cannot underestimate the degree to which we helped them.”

Lazio President Claudio Lotito left his seat shortly after Inter’s second goal and addressed the squad in the dressing room afterward.

“The President was not angry, he was disappointed, just like I was. We were embarrassed in front of a vast television audience,” Sarri said.

“He sees it the way I do: we can lose to Inter but not like that.”

The game took place in a partially-filled Al-Awwal Park Stadium in Riyadh.

Inter and Napoli will play the final on Monday at the same stadium, following the Serie A champions’ 3-0 victory over Fiorentina in the first semi-final on Thursday.

Source website: www.hindustantimes.com

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