Mauro Icardi’s 17th goal of the season – in the 88th minute – proved decisive for the Nerazzurri, after Radja Nainggolan had got the Eternal City outfit back on level terms following Hernanes’ 15th-minute opener.
The victory took Inter ahead of city rivals AC Milan and within four points of sixth-placed Fiorentina, who host Cagliari on Sunday.
Udinese earlier on Saturday delivered a potentially knockout blow to Milan’s Europa League aspirations by beating the Rossoneri 2-1.
Giampiero Pinzi and Emmanuel Badu turned Udinese’s superiority into goals in the second half to earn the Bianconeri their first win in seven league games, and send Filippo Inzaghi’s men tumbling to their first defeat since March 16.
Giampaolo Pazzini grabbed a late consolation, but it was not enough to prevent a loss which could see Milan’s deficit on Serie A’s top five grow to 10 points on Sunday with six games of the season remaining.