Inter Milan stay in touch
Inter Milan remained in touch with the title-chasing pack by claiming a comfortable 3-0 victory at Udinese.
Last Updated: 03/11/13 4:49pm
Inter Milan remained in touch with the title-chasing pack by claiming a comfortable 3-0 Serie A victory at Udinese.
The Bianconeri were unbeaten at the Stadio Friuli for 13 months before losing to leaders Roma last weekend, but they suffered a second home defeat in as many games thanks to Walter Mazzarri's Inter side.
After Rodrigo Palacio opened the scoring with a header in the 25th minute, Andrea Ranocchia hit Udinese while they were still down with a well-taken volley.
Ricky Alvarez rounded off Inter's win with a third goal, ensuring the Milan club remain within six points of Napoli and Juventus and tied for fourth place with surprise package Hellas Verona.
Luis Muriel was a constant menace to Inter, but despite his best efforts Udinese could not find a way through.
The Colombian tried his luck from the edge of the area in the 14th minute, Samir Handanovic making the block.
Yuto Nagatomo then wasted a gilt-edged chance to give Inter the lead as he hammered Jonathan's cute pass wide in the 21st minute, but it did not set the visitors back for long.
Four minutes later Zeljko Brkic was picking the ball out of his net as Palacio headed home Saphir Taider's curled free-kick with precision.
Ranocchia made it 2-0 in the 29th minute.
Udinese were punished from a set-piece once again as Brkic stormed off his line to miss Esteban Cambiasso's in-swinging corner, from which Ranocchia volleyed home with aplomb.
Francesco Guidolin's men had it all to do in the second half and their best hope of hauling Inter back lay with the prolific Antonio Di Natale.
The veteran striker forced an impressive save from Handanovic just moments after the restart, but injury soon curtailed his involvement and he was replaced by Mathias Ranegie.
Inter exploited the sense of disappointment and pushed back, with Brkic lucky to snatch the ball off Palacio as he tried to turn Fredy Guarin's low cross home.
The Colombian midfielder should have scored himself on the hour mark. He arrived unchecked in the Udinese box only to slam the ball against a post.
A share of the points remained just in sight for Udinese and substitute Bruno Fernandes came close to dragging his side back into contention in the 66th minute.
Fine trickery from the Portuguese saw him face off with Handanovic, but the Inter keeper was still wide awake and repelled the finish with a punch.
As time ticked away in the north east, however, Udinese began to realise they were beaten.
They had defended stoically against a slick Inter side for large stretches of the game, but it finished 3-0 as Alvarez slotted home Palacio's cross from the right wing deep into stoppage time.