Heading into the break, Inter desperately needed to get a positive result to sustain the recent positive run of form. Although the first half had many Inter fans fearing for the worst, Inter came storming back in the second half. The team took full advantage of its second half dominance by putting three goals past the Lazio defense. Inter fans can now go into break feeling excited for what the rest of the season holds and cling onto Champions League aspirations.
Samir Handanovic - 7
Samir Handanovic was called upon early in the game as Lazio got off to an impressive start. In the opening minutes and again in the nineteenth minute, Handanovic did well to deny Ciro Immobile with diving saves. For the second half of the game, Handanovic was not relied upon to make too many saves but had a wonderful save with his legs preventing Cataldi from scoring in the eighth fifth minute. A solid performance from a great keeper.
Danilo D'Ambrosio - 7
D'Ambrosio defended valiantly against Lazio. He did well to cut out many dangerous balls and prevent Lazio from having scoring chances. D'Ambrosio even came up with a save of his own as he deflected a Felipe Anderson shot out of bounds in the twenty sixth minute after a dangerous run from the Brazilian. This was not the full extent of his influence over the game as in the fifty sixth minute D'Ambrosio delivered a perfect cross which Icardi headed into the goal. A productive game from the Italian fullback on both sides of the ball.
Jeison Murillo - 6
Against Lazio, Murillo performed admirably. Most of Lazio's many first half attacks came down the left side of the pitch. So, Murillo had less to deal with but still did well to make a few key interceptions when called upon. Murillo was also diligent when in possession of the ball and did not squander possession. A calm and collected performance by the center back.
Miranda - 6
Miranda lead the defense for most of the match. For most of the match, Miranda dealt with opposing attacks with ease and directed the ball well. But Felipe Anderson did get the better of Miranda as Anderson burned Miranda in the twenty sixth minute by simply running straight by the stagnant Miranda. Miranda also picked up a deserved booking in seventh sixth minute, but overall had a strong performance.
Cristian Ansaldi - 5
Ansaldi performed well going forward and provided a few nice crosses. This does not atone for the defensive shift he put in. Felipe Anderson was constantly causing Ansaldi issues down the left flank. Ansaldi was justly subbed off a few minutes after receiving a yellow card in the second half.
Marcelo Brozovic - 6
Brozovic was one of two players in the first half to test Lazio goalkeeper Marchetti. Although his shot could not find the back of the net, Brozovic still had a productive night. Brozovic tracked back well on defense and made a few crucial tackles throughout the match giving his team a solid performance.
Geoffrey Kondogbia - 6.5
His inclusion would not have been a guarantee if it were not for the suspension of Felipe Melo, but his inclusion turned out to be a success as Kondogbia helped to control the middle of the park. Kondogbia's performance was highlighted by some silky turns and neat control of the ball giving Inter fans optimism for further displays of this caliber from the Frenchman.
Antonio Candreva - 7
Antonio Candreva is simply a spark plug for the team right now. Getting the ball to Candreva always seems to lead to a dangerous run or a tantalizing cross. Candreva works hard for the team and always provides the team with a dangerous outlet going forward. Even if his name does not appear on the score sheet, Candreva still deserves plaudits for his wonderful performance.
Ever Banega - 7.5
This was the performance of a truly great playmaker. After the team started out slowly, Banega started to lift the team out of their shell. His determination and hard worked paid dividends as he managed to disposes Milinkovic-Savic in the fifty fourth minute and smash home a rocket of shot from twenty or more yards out. Banega's impact was not limited to a goal as he also got an assist in the game. Banega and Icardi linked up on a well worked free kick routine as Banega gifted Icardi his second goal of the night. Influential night for the playmaker as he worked hard for the team.
Ivan Perisic - 5.5
Out of all of our forwards, Perisic contributed the least. For most of the first half Perisic remained invisible and hardly got a touch on the ball. Then, in the second half, Perisic wasted a few excellent opportunities. Not a good night for the Croatian, but hopefully he will rebound after the break.
Mauro Icardi - 7.5
An excellent night for the Captain as he scored yet another brace. The first of his two came from a header on a beautiful cross from D'Ambrosio. The next resulted from a perfectly executed free kick delivered by Banega. Icardi, ever the clinical finisher, continues to provide the team with goals and a target for all the teams crosses.
Yuto Nagatomo - 6
Replaced the faltering Ansaldi. Yuto came on provided some solidity on the left flank. Did well to minimize the impact of Felipe Anderson. Nagatomo even got down the flank to provide an outlet a couple of times. Quality impact from Nagatomo.
Rodrigo Palacio - N/A
I still remember the days when Palacio was not only a threat to score, but a threat to create as well. Unfortunately, I believe those days are behind Palacio and do not understand how he is receiving game time over the youngsters
Gabriel Barbosa - N/A
Somehow, Gabriel Barbosa cannot manage to garner more minutes. In the few minutes he was on the field, Gabriel amazed every spectator with his wonderful skill (including a rabona) and became an automatic threat to Lazio defenders every time he got a touch of the ball. It is astounding to that he cannot manage more minutes when he clearly is a dangerous forward.
Stefano Pioli - 6.5
In the back, Pioli opted for a four man defense with Murillo and Miranda in the center flanked on the outside by D'Ambrosio and Ansaldi with Handanovic in goal. Out of the five in the back, all did well other than Ansaldi who struggled throughout the match to deal with the tricky Anderson. In the midfield, Pioli did not have many options after the Sassuolo game left Pioli without Felipe Melo and Joao Mario due to suspension. Pioli brought in Kondogbia and Banega into the starting lineup and continued with Brozovic in the center and Candreva and Perisic on the wings. Kondogbia and Banega rewarded Pioli with wonderful performances that will surely give the coach selection dilemmas in the future. Up front the captain, Mauro Icardi did what he does best and scored twice. Pioli subbed in Nagatomo for Ansaldi who was obviously struggling to cope. Then he switched out Banega for Palacio. Palacio did not really impact the game at all, but has not all year, so his continued selection is confusing to say the least. Then for his final substitution, Pioli brought on Gabriel Barbosa. Although, he only gave Gabriel Barbosa a few minutes, Gabigol managed to wow all who gazed upon his skill. This begs the question, why does Gabigol not receive more minutes? Overall, Pioli did well to organize the team for this midweek clash. The team fought hard and actually got better as the game progressed. Hopefully this game will not be a mere aberration, but a sign of what the future holds for this budding team.