Inter sweep past Lazio to reach Italian Super Cup final

 
Marcus Thuram of FC Internazionale in action during the Italian EA Sports FC Supercup Semifinal match between FC Internazionale and SS Lazioat Al-Awwal Stadium on January 19, 2024 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


Goals from Marcus Thuram and Davide Frattesi, along with a Hakan Calhanoglu penalty, have propelled Inter Milan to a 3-0 victory over Lazio in the Italian Super Cup semi-final.

Friday's impressive victory secures a place for the Nerazzurri in the final against Napoli.

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.

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.

Inter also hit the crossbar twice in a dominating performance - first by Nicolo Barella early on and then by Lautaro Martinez after Calhanoglu's penalty in a partially-filled Al-Awwal Stadium in Riyadh.

Simone Inzaghi's side now have an opportunity to secure their third consecutive Super Cup, 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."

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

The Italian Super Cup was always contested between the Serie A champion and the Italian Cup winner from the previous season but the format was changed this year to include the runners-up from those competitions - similar to the Spanish competition, which was held in the same stadium in Riyadh last week.

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