Inter kept AC Milan at bay in the race for third thanks to professional 3-1 victory over Frosinone on Sunday.
The Rossoneri closed in on their city rivals thanks to a 1-0 result over Lazio on Saturday, but the Nerazzurri made no mistake in restoring their five-point advantage thanks to strikes from Radja Nainggolan, Ivan Perisic and Matias Vecino.
Francesco Cassata made things interesting after the restart by temporarily making it 2-1, but it proved inconsequential in the end as Luciano Spalletti’s men kept their calm to secure an important result in their chase for a Champions League spot.
The Nerazzurri took the lead after 20 minutes after some great work down the right. Danilo D’Ambrosio’s cross in the box found a charging Nainggolan, and the Belgian expertly headed past Marco Sportiello.
Things went from bad to worse for Frosinone 15 minutes later when Raman Chibsah gave away a silly penalty for holding Milan Skriniar in the penalty area.
To the surprise of everyone Mauro Icardi let Perisic step up to the spot, and the Croatian calmly slotted home, doubling Inter’s lead.
There was nearly a third before the end of the half as Icardi’s pressure forced Lorenzo Ariaudo into a mistake. The ball eventually fell to Marco Politano, but Sportiello did enough to close the angle and diffuse the situation.
Frosinone took the field with a renewed sense of determination despite the two-goal disadvantage, and their approach was rewarded in the 61st minute.
Borja Valero lost the ball in the penalty area, allowing Daniel Ciofani to lay the ball off for Cassata. The on-loan Sassuolo man fired past a helpless Samir Handanovic to reopen the contest.
Inter responded immediately and should have restored their two-goal lead. Nainggolan picked out Perisic, but Marco Capuano’s last ditch effort prevented the Croatian from doubling his tally.
From there Frosinone struggled to carve out clear chances, and it was the away side that looked the more threatening in front of goal.
Inter really should have closed out the contest with minutes to spare when substitute Keita Balde picked out an unmarked Icardi in the penalty area, but the Argentine headed well over the bar from close range.
With Frosinone surging forward, the Nerazzurri eventually wrapped up proceedings thanks to a well-worked counter. Joao Mario surged forward and picked out Icardi, and the Argentine eventually found an onrushing Vecino.
The Uruguayan kept his cool to slot past Sportiello, securing an important victory for the away side.