Inter Milan moved four points clear at the top of Serie A as goals from Lautaro Martinez and Marcus Thuram sealed a 2-0 win over Lazio in Rome.
Martinez pounced on a calamitous back-pass by Lazio’s Adam Marusic five minutes before half-time to give the league leaders a slender advantage at the break.
Thuram effectively sealed victory for the visitors in the 66th minute before things got worse for Lazio, who had Manuel Lazzari sent off four minutes from time for dissent.
The result enabled Inter to capitalise on Juventus’s dropped points against Genoa on Friday night whilst disgruntled Lazio fans now find their team anchored in a lowly 11th position in the table.
Maurizio Sarri’s men more than matched their opponents for long periods of the first half after surviving an initial spell of pressure in which Nicolo Casale saved well to deny Thuram.
Daichi Kamada squeezed a shot wide and a Matteo Guendouzi effort was deflected out for a corner before Nicolo Rovella fired straight at Inter keeper Yann Sommer.
But Lazio’s good work was undone just before the break when Marusic’s desperate back-pass was intercepted by Martinez, who was pushed out wide by Ivan Provedel but managed to dribble around the keeper and steer home the opener.
Inter finished the first half strongly and could have doubled their lead five minutes later when Yann Bisseck headed just wide from the second of two consecutive corners.
Lazio started the second half on top with Rovella bringing a save out of Sommer in their best chance of the game so far, then Kamada finished off a fine move involving Immobile with a complete miskick in the box.
Thuram was left completely unmarked in the box to grab Inter’s second in the 66th minute and from that moment onwards the home challenge dramatically faded.
Henrik Mkhitaryan should have added a third six minutes later only to be denied by Provedel, then Lazzari was shown his straight red card.
Inter were not finished and Mkhitaryan once again brought a save out of Provedel as the restless home supporters greeted the final whistle with a chorus of boos.