Lautaro Martinez was at the double and Romelu Lukaku also scored as Inter Milan took a giant step towards their first Scudetto since 2010 with an epic 3-0 victory over rivals AC Milan in the Derby della Madonnina.
In the most significant league meeting between the rivals since April 2011 - the last time the sides met holding the top two positions in the table - Inter started the match leading Milan by a point at the summit.
And it was Antonio Conte's leaders who drew first blood when Lukaku's inch-perfect cross was converted by the head of Martinez after just five minutes.
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Milan had entered the contest on the back of a shock defeat to Spezia last weekend as they relinquished their place atop of the league, and conceding first was a blow considering Stefano Pioli's side had failed to win this season after falling behind.
Inter were well worth their lead at the break, although Theo Hernandez did spurn a great chance to draw the Rossoneri level.
But Milan made a flying start to the second half and Inter had Samir Handanovic to thank for protecting their clean sheet as the 36-year-old denied two quick-fire Zlatan Ibrahimovic headers before repelling Sandro Tonali.
Inter, however, took control of the contest with a fine team goal against the run of play finished by Martinez from Ivan Perisic's assist before Lukaku put the game beyond their opponents with a lovely strike on the counter-attack.
The Belgian is the first Inter player to score in four consecutive Milan derbies in Serie A in over 70 years and capped a wonderful day for Conte's side, who move four points clear of AC Milan at the top of the table.
Handanovic - Milan-Inter - Serie A 2020/2021 - Getty Images
Image credit: Getty Images
TALKING POINT - Inter's deadly duo shine as Nerazzurri take control of title race
Billed as a possible decider for the Serie A title such was the enormity of the occasion, it is Inter who take a significant step in their pursuit of a first league success in over a decade with victory in most convincing manner.
The Nerazzurri give themselves breathing space at the top of the table with a comprehensive performance against their greatest rivals, avenging the 2-1 defeat to Milan back in October, and inflicting a fourth league defeat on the Rossoneri already this calendar year. The wheels appear to have come off for Pioli's side at just the wrong time, as Inter sensed and took advantage of their vulnerability after some poor results.
Inter were superior in every department, but it was the attacking partnership of Lukaku and Martinez that really did the damage as they combined time and again to devastating effect. Ibrahimovic, at the other end, could only applaud the former's strike before he was hooked off after a profligate display. It was a lasting image on a day Inter took control of the title race and Lukaku reminded the world of his unquestionable talent.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Romelu Lukaku (Inter)
A supreme performance from an all-round quality forward. Milan's defence simply couldn't handle him, particularly Alessio Romagnoli, who will have nightmares about his intelligent movement, pace, power - and prowess.
Romelu Lukaku, Antonio Conte
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AC Milan: Donnarumma 6, Calabria 5, Kjaer 6, Romagnoli 4, Theo Hernandez 5, Tonali 5, Kessie 5, Saelemaekers 5, Calhanoglu 5, Rebic 5, Ibrahimovic 5. Subs: Castillejo 5, Meite 5, Leao 5.
Inter: Handanovic 8, Skriniar 7, De Vrij 7, Bastoni 7, Hakimi 7, Barella 7, Brozovic 7, Eriksen 7, Perisic 7, Lautaro Martinez 8, Lukaku 9. Subs: Darmian N/A, Gagliardini N/A, Vidal N/A, Young N/A, Sanchez N/A.
5' - GOAL! AC Milan 0-1 Inter (Martinez): The lethal strike partnership of Lukaku and Martinez combine again, as Conte's men take an early lead! Lukaku races in behind Romagnoli down the right, his pass is intercepted by Kjaer, but the Belgian gets it back. He floats a perfect cross for Martinez, who can't miss with his header from point-blank range!
33' - Milan chance! Inter's defending is questionable once more as a cross falls into the path of Theo Hernandez. He tries to find the bottom corner with Handanovic wrong-footed but his shot is agonisingly wide!
47' - Double save from Handanovic to deny Ibrahimovic! Not once but twice the 39-year-old is denied by Inter's goalkeeper! He makes an amazing reaction save to deny Ibra's diving header and gathers himself to repel another headed effort a moment later!
57' - GOAL! AC Milan 0-2 Inter (Martinez): Wow, that is some team goal from Inter! That should do it! It's against the run of play, too. The move starts in their own 18-yard box, Eriksen releases Perisic on the left and he pulls it back for Martinez for a simple tap-in!
66' - GOAL! Milan 0-3 Inter (Lukaku): It just had to be him! Lukaku caps a fine performance with a fine goal as Inter continue to rip Milan to shreds! The Belgian picks the ball up in midfield, races through the centre and beats Donnarumma at his near post with a venomous low shot. Wow!
- Prior to Romelu Lukaku, the last Inter player to score in four consecutive Milan derbies in Serie A was Benito Lorenzi, in 1950.
- Lautaro Martínez and Romelu Lukaku have now combined for six goals in Serie A current season, at least two more of any other duo.
- Gianluigi Donnarumma is the youngest player to cross the milestone of 200 appearances in Serie A in the era of three points for a win: with 21 years and 361 days he beats the previous record set by Gianluigi Buffon (24 y, 83 d).
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