Esteban Cambiasso scored his 50th goal for Inter as they beat Verona 4-2 to leapfrog above them in Serie A at the San Siro.
Jonathan volleyed the hosts into the lead inside 10 minutes when his shot deflected past Rafael off Vangelis Moras before Rodrigo Palacio grabbed the second when he inadvertently turned a clearance into the net.
Raphael Martinho pulled a goal back against the run of play but Inter quickly restored their two goal advantage when Cambiasso tucked home after Palacio had seen his initial shot saved.
Inter continued to flood forward after the restart and scored their fourth from another corner when Rolando prodded over the line.
But Romulo lashed home to ensure a nervy finish before Toni saw a goal harshly disallowed as Inter struggled to see out the three points.
A fairly good natured game finished amid disappointing scenes when the referee saw fit to show a red card to Inter substitute Ishak Belfodil and Verona’s Moras after the two clashed following the final whistle.
Inter came into the match one place behind their opponents as they sought to get their season back on track by ending their three match winless run in the league.
They started brightly, knocking the ball around nicely and causing their opponents problems down the wings, and deservedly grabbed the opener when Jonathan met Cambiasso’s corner with a sweet volley, although it took a deflection off Moras en-route to the back of the net.
And two minutes later they doubled their lead. Another Cambiasso corner caused chaos in the Verona defence, it pinballed around before striking Palacio and flying past Rafael.
But moments after Palacio was denied his second by the offside flag, Verona broke down the other end and halved the arrears when Martinho powered a shot into the corner after being played in by Toni.
Inter continued to press forward and grabbed their third through Cambiasso after a combination of post and goalkeeper had kept out respective efforts from Yuto Nagatomo and Palacio.
The hosts extended their advantage further when Rolando diverted Palacio’s effort from a low corner past Rafael at the front post as the game really opened out – Jonathan the next to go close for Inter and Toni blazing over for Verona.
Gialloblu pulled a goal back with 20 minutes remaining when Romulo’s left-footed effort beat an outstretched Juan Pablo Carrizo before Toni was harshly adjudged to have fouled his marker. Had the goal been allowed to stand, the result may well have been different.
To their credit, the visitors continued to press but could not find a way through as Inter held firm. The referee then saw fit to send off Belfodil and Moras for an altercation after the final whistle despite both players protesting innocence.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Esteban Cambiasso (Inter) – Played a pivotal role in the opening two goals and then notched him 50th goal for the club. Kept the hosts ticking over before being substituted on the hour.
Inter: Carrizo 6, Rolando 6, Ranocchia 6, Juan 6, Jonathan 7, Guarin 7, Cambiasso 8, Alvarez 7, Nagatomo 7, Kovacic 6, Palacio 8… Subs: Belfodil 4, Kuzmanovic 6, Taider 5.
Verona: Rafael 5, Cacciatore 6, Moras 4, Maietta 5, Agostini 5, Romulo 6, Donati 6, Jorginho 6, Iturbe 5, Toni 6, Martinho 6… Subs: Cacia 5, Junaito 5, Donadel 5.