Inter moved within a point of fourth place with this slender victory over Torino, decided by Rodrigo Palacio’s odd header.
The Nerazzurri went into this unbeaten in four and fresh from holding Roma to a goalless draw, but Toro were smarting after two consecutive defeats to Juventus and Sampdoria. Both Coaches had to reinvent their defences, as Walter Samuel, Juan Jesus, Kamil Glik, Cesare Bovo and Nikola Maksimovic were suspended, while Ricky Alvarez, Salvatore Masiello, Giovanni Pasquale and Marcelo Larrondo missed out. There was a boost for the Granata, as Emiliano Moretti returned just 11 days after knee surgery, while Hernanes was back after his injury in the Inter midfield.
Torino haven’t beaten Inter, home or away, since 1994 with just five draws and 14 defeats with one clean sheet. However, they drew here 2-2 last season and in October played a spectacular 3-3 stalemate.
There was spectacular choreography in the stands, as Inter celebrated the 106th anniversary of their foundation today.
Torino had the first real scoring opportunity, as a corner fell to Ciro Immobile and he blasted over the bar just days after his senior Italy debut against Spain.
Fredy Guarin and Hernanes had a series of very long-range efforts, while Guarin should’ve done better when he was in acres of space but allowed Giuseppe Vives to charge down the shot.
Rodrigo Palacio finally forced a save out of Daniele Padelli with his header on 26 minutes from Guarin’s cross.
Inter’s domination eventually paid off with a bizarre goal from Palacio. La Trenza seemed as if he was trying to nod it back across the face of goal, but it looped over Padelli and into the far top corner.
Hernanes fired just wide after an Esteban Cambiasso assist, as the Granata struggled to escape from their own half.
Padelli was alert to realise a Cambiasso free kick was taken quickly and he smothered at Mauro Icardi’s feet.
Samir Handanovic palmed a long-range Jasmin Kurtic effort out for a corner after the restart and was also called into action on Alessio Cerci. Migjen Basha’s attempt whistled just wide, as the Granata finally turned up to the game in the second half.
Cerci burst past Rolando and forced Handanovic to rush out and close down Matteo Darmian.
Inter also threatened a second, as a free kick was rolled to the just inside the box for Palacio to blast over the bar.
A Hernanes solo effort shaved a coat of paint off the base of the near post and Inter brought home the result that takes them within a point of fourth-placed Fiorentina.