A brace from Rodrigo Palacio helped Inter Milan record an impressive 2-0 win over Sampdoria at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Wednesday.
The visitors opened the scoring just before half-time in the Serie A clash, Palacio heading past Sergio Romero before adding a second late on to secure a vital three points.
Inter started brightly and could have taken the initiative in the opening few minutes, but Romero got down quickly to push the ball away from Palacio after the Argentine had beaten the offside trap and looked to round the Sampdoria goalkeeper before firing over.
Mauro Icardi then came close to breaking the deadlock on the 20-minute mark, having seen his near-post header force Samir Handanovic into a smart save as both teams enjoyed their fair share of possession.
Handanovic was again forced into action with 10 minutes of the half remaining as the Inter goalkeeper tipped Nenad Krsticic’s 25-yard effort over the bar.
Inter opened the scoring two minutes before half-time as Palacio met Alvaro Pereira’s cross, the Inter striker doing well to connect with the ball and head past Romero. The Argentine then came close to adding a second with a minute of the first half remaining, but dragged his effort narrowly wide of the far post.
The hosts began the second half strongly as Gianluca Sansone forced Handanovic into a neat save from the edge of the Inter 18-yard box, with Sampdoria looking to drag themselves back into the encounter.
Shkodran Mustafi denied Palacio excellently on the 55th minute before a change of shape for Sampdoria saw the hosts look to stretch Inter.
Pedro Obiang tested Handanovic from the edge of the box, but his effort was comfortably smothered by the Slovenian.
Sampdoria continued to press for an equaliser, with substitute Maxi Lopez testing Handanovic from a free kick, but the Inter goalkeeper held on comfortably.
Sampdoria continued to pressure the visitors, but came undone in the last minute of stoppage time as Palacio strode forward and fired under Romero to secure his side an important victory.
The win sees Inter climb to fifth on the table, seven points off the final Champions League qualification place.