Inter took their time, but two second half goals ended SPAL’s resistance and gave the Nerazzurri a 2-0 win as they celebrated they 111th anniversary.
Matteo Politano opened the scoring for Inter midway through the second half, after Lautaro Martinez had a goal ruled out by VAR in the first, then Roberto Gagliardini doubled the lead soon after as the Nerazzurri kept their 57-year unbeaten Serie A record over SPAL.
As a result, Inter moved to within a point of city rivals AC Milan, who sit third in the Serie A table, with the Derby della Madonnina coming up between the pair in a week.
Once more there was no Mauro Icardi, who was excluded from the Inter squad due to a knee injury, with his contract dispute still rumbling on.
Neither side could get control of the game in the early stages, as they traded speculative efforts from distance.
Lautaro was causing SPAL issues and he met a Cedric Soares cross, volleying just over from close range.
Andrea Petagna headed inches wide from a Kevin Bonifazi cross, while at the other end, Lautaro did exactly the same, linking up with Cedric once more.
That was just the warning, as Lautaro showed some brilliant close control and composure to take the ball past Felipe on the edge of the area, and slot past Emiliano Viviano.
However, after review by VAR, referee Gianpaolo Calverese concluded that there was a handball in the build up and the goal was ruled out.
After the break, Inter went all out for the opening goal though were unable to breakthrough the SPAL backline, and rarely troubled Viviano.
Just after the hour mark that changed as Politano collected a loose ball just inside the penalty area, and fired into the bottom right corner, with the ball taking a slight deflection off Bonifazi. After a silent VAR check the goal was confirmed giving the forward his third goal at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza this season.
The lead was doubled by Gagliardini in something of a similar fashion after he intercepted a Cedric shot in the box, turned and fired into bottom left.
Inter settled after their second went in and SPAL seemed to accept the result, offering little attacking threat, despite being mired in a relegation dogfight.
NO ICARDI NO PROBLEM
With another no show from the former Inter captain in the books, Lautaro once again stepped into the Nerazzurri front line and showed what a talent he is. Going close twice in the first half, demonstrating his agility with a close range volley, then getting in front of Felipe to head just wide of the post. Despite some brilliant control, calmness, and quickness of through, he had a goal rightly chopped off by VAR. He never gave the SPAL defence a moments rest and should Icardi fail to return, Lautaro may just be the antidote.