Inter Milan clocked up their seventh Serie A win in a row on Wednesday, overcoming Verona 2-1 away with a rare Milan Skriniar goal to keep up the pressure on neighbours AC Milan.
All three goals came in the second half. Lautaro Martinez volleyed Inter in front seven minutes after the break but a defensive mix-up allowed Ivan Ilic to equalise for the hosts 11 minutes later.
Skriniar, one of the players at fault for the Verona goal, made amends for the error with a headed goal to put Inter back in front in the 69th minute.
"This is the seventh consecutive win and that must give us conviction and make us understand that we must continue on this path," said Inter coach Antonio Conte. "Today, we showed a great will to win.
This is certainly a more balanced championship than in previous years. It will be very difficult, all the teams have strengthened. You can lose points against anyone, you must always be on the ball.
Inter were sluggish in the first half but came to life after half-time and Martinez got in front of his marker to volley home from Achraf Hakimi's cross.
Verona, surprise contenders for a European place this season, levelled after goalkeeper Samir Handanovic mishandled Davide Faraoni's cross, Skriniar failed to react in time and Ilic poked the ball home.
It was all forgotten six minutes later, however, when Skriniar scored with a looping header, only his fifth goal in three-and-a-half seasons at Inter.
Inter had a let-off when Federico Dimarco's shot struck the crossbar but they had their own chances - Romelu Lukaku missed two chances on the break for the visitors.
The Nerazzurri have 33 points, one less than AC Milan who began the day as leaders and beat Lazio 3-2 in the late game to leapfrog their city rivals.
Milan got off to a flying start as Ante Rebic headed them in front after 10 minutes and Hakan Calhanoglu doubled their lead from a penalty seven minutes later.
AC Milan's Italian coach Stefano Pioli (2ndL) celebrates with AC Milan's Portuguese forward Rafael Leao (C)
Image credit: Getty Images
Luis Alberto hauled Lazio back into the match, scoring from a rebound in the 28th minute after Ciro Immobile had a penalty saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma, and Immobile himself equalised just before the hour.
But Hernandez headed home in the second minute of stoppage time to leave Milan, still unbeaten after 14 games this season, with 34 points,
Additional reporting courtesy of Reuters.