Inter Milan bounced back from beating Bologna with a 2-1 victory over Udinese which ensured Milan’s lead in the Serie A conference was reduced to two points.
Stefano Pioli’s side last week beat Inter at the top of the table and won 1-0 at Fiorentina earlier on Sunday, but Nerazzurri responded with a high-profile game against Udine.
Ivan Perisic and Lautaro Martinez scored for Inter in the first half to give them direction, with the players giving the slightest threat of attack.
The champions continued to dominate after the break without much fuss, and although Udinese pulled one out with Ignacio Pussetto, Simone Inzaghi’s side completed the task.
Inter looked sharp at first and that translated further as Perisic met Federico Dimarco’s corner kick with a sharp header that hit Marco Silvestri in his immediate area.
The visitors seemed to have missed the opportunity to double their lead just half an hour later when a nearby Martinez chip was saved by Silvestri, but Pablo Mari harassed Edin Dzeko as he tried to turn the rebound.
Martinez’s next penalty hit the post and Silvestri followed before allowing the Argentine to finish easily.
Clear chances were rare in the second half until Udinese finished off a frenzy with Pussetto, accumulating over the line after Samir Handanovic saved a Gerard Deulofeu free-kick 72 minutes later.
But Inter successfully defended their one goal to put three valuable points in the title race.