Inter got back on track with a thrilling 4-2 victory over Verona, making the most of some awful defending from corners.
Newly-promoted Verona were surprisingly ahead of Inter in fourth place going into San Siro. Luca Toni, Juan Iturbe and Jorginho have been inspirational this season, while Raphael Martinho was picked ahead of Gomez Taleb in the trident. Juan Pablo Carrizo stepped in for the suspended Samir Handanovic and Ricky Alvarez returned from injury to support Rodrigo Palacio, giving Mateo Kovacic a deeper role, but Hugo Campagnaro was again missing in defence.
Verona wore black armbands following the death of defender Rafael Marques’ mother this week. These sides had not met in Serie A since December 2001 and Verona had never won here.
It took just nine minutes for Inter to take the lead, as Jonathan was left totally unmarked on the edge of the box from a corner and his volley took a deflection off Vangelis Moras on its way through.
Moments later the Nerazzurri doubled their lead with more poor defending on the corner. Rolando nodded on for Fredy Guarin, whose shot was cleared off the line on to Rodrigo Palacio’s chest and ricocheted in from point-blank range. La Trenza didn’t seem to know much about that, but was in the right place at the right time.
Verona shook off their nerves and on 25 minutes went close with Luca Toni’s header over the bar, but it was mostly Inter and Jonathan flashed a dangerous shot across the face of goal.
Hellas did get back into the game, as Toni knocked down the ball for Raphael Martinho, who burst through the middle of the Inter defence and cannoned it past Carrizo.
However, the hosts restored their two-goal cushion. Yuto Nagatomo cut in from the left and curled his shot on to the far post, then Guarin knocked it on for Cambiasso’s tap-in. Verona had offside appeals, but Alessandro Agostini was keeping everyone level.
Guarin drilled wide from distance in an action-packed first half. Straight after the restart, the Colombian tried again and this time forced Rafael into a one-handed save.
Verona went back to their early problems on corners and allowed Inter a fourth goal, as Rolando managed to bundle it over the line from point-blank range.
Just as Inter seemed to be absolutely in control, Hellas got another one back. Toni provided the assist and Romulo drilled low into the near bottom corner. Curiously, the ex-Fiorentina man has scored four Serie A goals in his career, two of them at San Siro against Inter.
Iturbe tested Carrizo from distance twice and Toni had the ball in the net, but the referee halted play for a slight shirt-tug on Andrea Ranocchia.
Verona would not give in and threw on more strikers for the final stages, keeping Inter under pressure to the end. Rafael also kept the scoreline down by denying a Saphir Taider long-range snapshot.
At the final whistle, both Moras and Belfodil received a red card for their off-the-ball scuffle.
Sent off: Moras 94 (V), Belfodil 94 (I)