Inter move five points ahead of Fiorentina

Internazionale took one step closer to Champions League qualification after picking up a vital three points with a 3-1 win over Udinese at the San Siro on Saturday evening.

Veteran forward Cyril Théréau gave Luigi De Canio's side an unlikely lead in the opening ten minutes, latching onto a pass that Agyemang-Badu timed and weighted to perfection before striking a brilliant volley into the bottom corner past a hapless 
Samir Handanovic.

Internazionale's sluggish start to the game was exposed by the resurgent Udinese, who have only lost one in their last five Serie A fixtures, but the hosts fought back valiantly, with Stevan Jovetic and Mauro Icardi linking up for the equaliser ten minutes before the break.

Icardi did well to control the ball on the left-hand side of the box before ghosting past defender Molla Wague and firing a shot across the face of goal. Jovetic was on hand to hit a simple tap in from the miss-hit shot from the Argentine.

Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes then hit the woodwork for Zebrette early in the second half to give the San Siro faithful a scare, but Mancini's men went on to dominate possession from there on in.

The home crowd were finally rewarded for their support midway through the second half when some neat build-up play led to on-loan Manchester City forward Jovetic grabbing his second of the evening.

Some intricate passing on the edge of the area from the Inter allowed Jonathan Biabiany to make a clever run, and the explosive forward delivered an inch perfect cross for the Montenegrin to nonchalantly chest home past a bewildered Orestis Karnezis.

After going ahead, Inter bizarrely sat back, inviting pressure from the away side, seemingly content with their one-goal advantage.

The decision nearly backfired when Duvan Zapata almost grabbed the equaliser deep into stoppage time, but just as Handanovic made the save, the Nerazzurri ran the full length of the field and added a third.

Italy international forward Eder finished off the swift counter-attack after being sent through on goal by midfielder Marcelo Brozovic.

The win moves Inter five points ahead of fifth-placed Fiorentina, who play Juventus on Sunday evening, as Mancini looks to secure Champions League qualification for the Milan giants.