Lautaro Martinez's first hat-trick for Inter Milan helped his side crush Crotone 6-2, earning their eighth successive Serie A win on Sunday and sending Antonio Conte's team top of the standings above AC Milan.
With their local rivals in action later on Sunday, Inter knew a win would see them go top, if only temporarily, but it was not looking promising as second-bottom Crotone took a shock 12th minute lead through Niccolo Zanellato.
However, Romelu Lukaku sent strike partner Martinez through to level eight minutes later, before an own goal from Luca Marrone put Inter in front. A Vladimir Golemic penalty then levelled things up once again.
Inter finish with a win but fall short in Scudetto quest
With the quality Inter possess up front, it was only a matter of time until they put Crotone to the sword in the second half, with Martinez brilliantly giving Inter the lead in the 57th minute before Lukaku added another seven minutes later.
Martinez completed his first Inter hat-trick 12 minutes from time, before Achraf Hakimi put the icing on the cake with a late sixth.
Having seen Inter go top of the table, Roma looked set to fall behind in the title race as they laboured in torrential rain against Sampdoria, failing to create any real chances in the first half.
However, moments after former Manchester United defender Chris Smalling had headed against the crossbar, the 34-year-old Edin Dzeko scored his third goal in as many games in the 72nd minute to settle a tight contest and leave Roma six points off the top.
Napoli, looking for their first win in four league games, moved back into the top four in style with a 4-1 thrashing of Cagliari.
Piotr Zielinski gave his side the lead with an arrowing, left-footed strike, before Joao Pedro equalised on the hour mark.
However, Zielinski was not done there, and he danced through the home backline two minutes later to put Napoli back in front, with a goal by Hirving Lozano and a penalty from Lorenzo Insigne making the victory more comfortable.
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