Esteban Cambiasso notched his 50th goal for Inter as they outclassed Hellas Verona 4-2 to move up to fourth place in Serie A in an entertaining encounter at the San Siro on Saturday.
An own-goal from Vangelis Moras and scrappy finishes from Rodrigo Palacio, Cambiasso and Jorge Rolando saw Walter Mazzari’s side make short work of Verona, who despite fine strikes from Martinho and Orestes Romulo were second-best for most of the match.
Inter are now on 18 points and leapfrogged promoted Verona into fourth place, while Andrea Mandorlini’s surprise package stay on 16.
UC Sampdoria moved up to 14th place on nine points after a Shkodran Mustafi header gave Delio Rossi’s men a 1-0 win over 10-man Atalanta BC in Saturday’s early game.
Inter looked the better side from the off against Verona and had seemingly already seen off their opponents with two bizarre goals in the space of three minutes.
First, Jonathan’s off-target volley from Cambiasso’s ninth-minute corner was deflected into the net by Moras, before another corner led to Verona midfielder Jorginho kicking Fredy Guarin’s shot against Palacio, who inadvertently doubled the hosts lead.
Verona thought they had got back into the game in the 32nd minute when Martinho collected the tireless Luca Toni’s knock-down and shot low past Juan Carrizo, who was deputizing for the suspended Samir Handanovic in goal.
However, Cambiasso made it three for Inter with another strange goal six minutes later. Yuto Nagatomo cut inside from the left and hit the post, before Palacio scuffed the rebound straight to his unerring countryman.
Inter put the game beyond doubt with a third goal from a corner in the 56th minute. This time, Jorge Rolando capitalized on poor Verona defending to bundle home his first goal of the season.
Verona’s Toni was key again for Romulo’s goal, holding the ball up well before feeding the Brazilian, who cut inside on to his left and beat Carrizo with another low shot, but it was not enough to make up for earlier defensive lapses.
“We played very well up to a certain point, but if we want to be a side that stays at the top we can’t have these lapses in concentration that we had today,” Inter coach Walter Mazzarri said. “We were naive when there was no need to be. You can’t ever think that you’ve already won.”