Inter Milan climbed to fourth in the Serie A with a 3-1 win over Chievo while AC Milan claimed a late 1-1 draw at Cagliari on Sunday.
Without a win in their past four matches in all competitions, Inter notched a much-needed victory with an impressive performance.
Italian forward Antonio Cassano gave them the lead after two minutes, and although Luca Rigoni levelled shortly after, Inter reclaimed the advantage before half-time.
Cassano was the provider for this goal, setting up Andrea Ranocchia on 26 minutes.
And Inter sealed the result five minutes into the second half when Argentine forward Diego Milito netted his ninth goal of the season.
That win – coupled with AC Milan’s failure to beat Cagliari – saw Inter move within one point of the third-placed Lazio on the table.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side needed a late Mario Balotelli equaliser just to get a point against Cagliari at Stadio Is Arenas.
Colombian striker Victor Ibarbo scored his first goal for the season on the stroke of half-time to fire the hosts into the lead.
Milan, who had 17 shots on goal to Cagliari’s nine, deserved to come away with at least a point but they left it late in doing so.
There was a stroke of fortune about the equaliser as Cagliari defender Davide Astori conceded a penalty and was sent off with nine minutes left.
Balotelli has now scored three goals in his two matches for AC Milan since crossing from Manchester City.
In other matches, Sampdoria defeated Roma 3-1 thanks to second-half goals from Marcelo Estigarribia, Gianluca Sansone and Mauro Icardi.
Bologna and Siena played out a 1-1 draw, as did Palermo and Pescara, while an early strike from Roberto Pereira helped Udinese to a 1-0 win against Torino.
The day’s other fixture saw Atalanta and Catania played out a goalless draw.