Inter struggled against Genoa, but squeezed through with a late Danilo D’Ambrosio header and two Grifone red cards.
The Nerazzurri lost their perfect record on Tuesday night with an unexpected 1-1 draw at Bologna, so needed a victory to stay close to joint leaders Napoli and Juventus. Joao Cancelo was the only absentee for the hosts, but the Grifone were still looking for their first win of the season. Andrea Bertolacci, Gianluca Lapadula, Nicolas Spolli and Armando Izzo didn’t make the trip, but 16-year-old sensation Pietro Pellegri got his second Serie A start.
The last time Genoa conquered San Siro was a 3-1 result in March 1994, followed by three draws from the next 14 visits between Serie A and the Coppa Italia.
Within 30 seconds, Ivan Perisic had skimmed the crossbar with a chest and volley, but Genoa nearly took the lead with a rapid counter-attack.
Adel Taarabt rolled across for Aleandro Rosi, but it was intercepted from 12 yards by a last-ditch tackle from of all people Mauro Icardi. The captain and centre-forward had sprinted back to be the last line of defence.
Perisic had another audacious volley, this one smothered by Mattia Perin, but Genoa gained confidence and slowly took more control as the half wore on.
Samir Handanovic flew to fingertip a Taarabt long-range curler round the far post.
On the stroke of half-time, Inter had their best chance of the game, as Marcelo Brozovic’s left-foot strike from the edge of the box cannoned off the upright.
Genoa started the second period on the front foot too, Omeonga flying down the right past Dalbert with a cross that unmarked Diego Laxalt ballooned over the bar.
Inter came very close from a Brozovic corner, Matias Vecino’s header to the back post and a deflection too it just past Eder.
Perin beat away both a Brozovic screamer and the Icardi follow-up, while Brozovic then put a volley into his arms at the back post. The goalkeeper also turned an Eder snapshot away for a corner.
Yann Karamoh was given his Inter debut in place of Borja Valero, but Genoa continued to threaten and Goran Pandev rolled across for totally unmarked Omeonga, forcing Handanovic into a very difficult double save at the near post.
D’Ambrosio needed a crucial interception with Taarabt ready to tap in from six yards and Handanovic left for dead by a Rosi pull-back.
Inter have shown a tendency to score late goals this season and they did it again, as a Joao Mario corner found D’Ambrosio’s cushioned header at the far post, back across Perin from six yards.
Genoa poured forward to seek an equaliser, but Omeonga was caught out on the Eder counter and brought him down for a red card.
The referee flashed the straight red in stoppages for a two-footed Taarabt tackle on Karamoh, leaving Genoa down to nine men.
Sent off: Omeonga 89 (G), Taarabt 94 (G)