Jonathan scored one and created another for Rodrigo Palacio, as Inter comfortably won 2-0 away to Verona.
There were only four points separating these sides going into the game, though Hellas were without a home win since December and had lost nine of their last 10 meetings with the Nerazzurri. Juan Jesus continued his ban and Ricky Alvarez was still sidelined, but Yuto Nagatomo was a late absentee due to a muscular problem, making way for Danilo D’Ambrosio. The hosts missed Emil Hallfredsson, Juanito Gomez Taleb and Alessandro Agostini.
Mauro Icardi rattled the woodwork within the opening five minutes, as his looping header from a Fredy Guarin cross smacked against the bar.
Icardi went down as he ran on to a smart Guarin ball over the top and was challenge by Vangelis Moras, but it was a clean shoulder-to-shoulder challenge.
Inter were dominating and took the lead after 14 minutes. Jonathan shimmied down the right past Michelangelo Albertazzi and rolled across the six-yard box for Rodrigo Palacio to tap in. It was a fine way to celebrate signing a new contract this week.
Verona fought back, but wasted a golden opportunity when Romulo over-hit the pass for Fabrizio Cacciatore, then Marquinho drilled just wide of the far post.
Luca Toni protested furiously when he went down under a challenge from Andrea Ranocchia, who had his arms around him, but the striker did precious little to stay on his feet.
Guarin ran on to a Jonathan through ball down the right and stung Rafael’s gloves at the near post, but for the rest of the half the visitors seemed content to sit back and go on the counter. Toni had more appeals before the break for a tussle with Ranocchia.
After the restart Hernanes fired straight at Samir Handanovic, then moments later Toni couldn’t quite pull the trigger under pressure from Rolando in the box and Iturbe’s pass was wayward.
Inter had a great opportunity to double their lead on 54 minutes, but the Hernanes free kick from a tight angle curled on to the crossbar, the second time this evening that the Nerazzurri had thumped the woodwork.
Guarin blasted off target, then Iturbe dribbled past Hugo Campagnaro only to smash well over, but Inter went 2-0 up.
It was a classic counter that Verona failed to deal with, so Hernanes set up Jonathan in acres of space down the right. The Brazilian’s first shot was beaten away by Rafael, but he pounced on the rebound from six yards.
Rolando charged down a Toni effort in the penalty area, but Moras missed an absolute sitter with a diving free header over the bar from Marquinho’s cross.
Hernanes aimed a powerful finish just over the bar, as Hellas had by this stage practically given up. Hernanes thought he’d scored his first goal in an Inter jersey at the 84th minute, but when going for a free header at the back post he tripped over his own feet and laughed to himself.
Mateo Kovacic went on a mazy run through the middle, though the finish was straight at Rafael. Samir Handanovic had very little to do until stoppages, when he scuffed a Luigi Sala effort, then needed a great double save on Iturbe’s strike and the Romulo follow-up.
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