Defender Milan Skriniar nodded in the winner as Inter Milan moved top of Serie A on Wednesday with a 2-1 victory over Hellas Verona.
Inter are two points ahead of city rivals AC Milan who need to beat Lazio later Wednesday to reclaim top spot before the Christmas break.
Lautaro Martinez opened the scoring on 52 minutes at the Stadio Bentegodi, with Skriniar grabbing the winner with 20 minutes to go after Ivan Ilic had pulled the hosts level. Antonio Conte’s Inter extended their winning streak in the league to seven games as they push for a first Serie A title since 2010.
Verona were chasing their first win over Inter since 1992. Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic denied on-loan left-back Federico Dimarco the chance to score against his parent club in the 26th minute.
At the other end of the pitch, Verona ‘keeper Marco Silvestri tipped over a Martinez effort 10 minutes later from a Romelu Lukaku cross. But Martinez broke through after the break, connecting with an Achraf Hakimi cross from the right to volley in his sixth goal this season and first since November 8.
On-loan Manchester City midfielder Ilic pulled the hosts level on 63 minutes after Handanovic let a Davide Faraoni cross slip, with Skriniar failing to stop the Serb tapping in his first Verona goal. But Slovak Skriniar made up for his error six minutes later, getting his head to a Marcelo Brozovic cross to beat Silvestri.
The goal allowed Inter to equal their best goalscoring start to a season since 1960/1961, when they also scored 34 goals after 14 games. Verona fell to their fourth defeat of the campaign as they sit ninth, three points off the European places.
AC Milan host Lazio later Wednesday with third-placed Napoli hosting Torino and Roma, in fifth, at home against Cagliari.
Champions Juventus are fourth after crashing to their first Serie A defeat of the season, 3-0 at home against Fiorentina on Tuesday. Juve also learned they must play the match against Napoli which was originally cancelled on October 4 after Napoli decided not to travel to Turin because of coronavirus cases.