Reigning champions Inter moved closer to joint Serie A leaders AC Milan and Napoli on Sunday evening, with an impressive 3-2 win over the Partenopei, and former coach Luciano Spalletti at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.
A first half littered with robust challenges came to life on 17 minutes, when Piotr Zielinski won the ball in midfield and finished a Napoli counterattack with a wonderful right-footed strike from the edge of the area. However, the Nerazzurri fought back to go into the break ahead.
Shortly after going behind, a Nicolo Barella shot struck the arm of Kalidou Koulibaly and Hakan Calhanoglu converted the resulting penalty. Then, as the match approached the interval, Barella forced an acrobatic save from David Ospina and Ivan Perisic met the corner with a glancing header that the Colombian only just failed to stop crossing the line.
With Victor Osimhen forced off after a nasty clash of heads with Milan Skriniar, the hosts took control and increased their advantage on 61 minutes, when Lautaro Martinez ended a counter-attack with a clinical finish.
The Partenopei restored hope 10 minutes before the end, when substitute Dries Mertens hit a superb long-range shot into the top corner, but another lengthy delay for another collision – between Ospina and Edin Dzeko – gave Inter time to gain some composure.