A second-half goal from Giampaolo Pazzini saw Inter return to winning ways in Serie A with a 2-1 victory over Fiorentina at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Wednesday evening.
The Nerazzurri took the lead as early as the sixth minute through a Michele Camporese own goal but Fiorentina restored parity just after the half-hour mark through Manuel Pasqual.
However, Pazzini's second-half strike secured Inter all three points and saw them reduce the gap between themselves and league leaders Milan to five points.
The Milanese side conjured up the game's first chance when on the second minute Samuel Eto'o set up Maicon, who then released a cross for Dejan Stankovic only for the latter to fail to connect.
A minute later Fiorentina crafted their first chance of the encounter when Riccardo Montolivo released Alberto Gilardino inside the Inter box but Ivan Cordoba made the crucial interception.
The Nerazzurri broke the deadlock on six minutes through a Camporese own goal. Inter broke away after Fiorentina failed on their corner kick and Eto'o's low cross from the right was deflected by the Italian into his own net.
However, Fiorentina could have equalized minutes later when Montolivo sent Adrian Mutu through on goal only for the Romanian attacker to shoot weakly at Julio Cesar.
The Viola maintained their search for parity and eventually got it two minutes after the half-hour mark when Pasqual's cross from the left wing originally intended for Gilardino found its way past Cesar into the Inter net.
Fiorentina could have then taken the lead just seconds later when Montolivo's shot from the edge of the Inter penalty box deflected off a defender.
However, Leonardo's Scudetto-chasers finished the half the better of the two sides as Pazzini headed a Maicon cross over the hosts' crossbar and then the Brazilian right-back fired a close-range shot wide.
Fiorentina commenced the second session the better of the two sides as Mutu and Gilardino combined with each other with the Italian's final shot from 20 yards going off target.
However, Inter began controlling the proceedings thereafter and came close to taking the lead for the second time in the match through Stankovic twice.
Then a couple of minutes before the hour-mark Andrea Ranocchia's header from a Wesley Sneijder corner-kick was cleared off the line and Stankovic's header from the rebound went over the Fiorentina crossbar.
The Italian and European champions went ahead four minutes later through Pazzini. Eto'o went past his marker down the right and delivered a brilliant cross that the Italy international striker turned in with ease.
The visitors could have increased their advantage minutes later had Stankovic's shot from the edge of the penalty box had been on target, although Sinisa Mihajlovic's team came close to equalizing through Ljajic.
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