Milan: Inter Milan beat Pescara 2-0 in the Serie A to snap a run of poor results and move into provisional third place on Saturday. Inter had lost two of their past three league games, drawing the other one, but goals from Rodrigo Palacio and Fredy Guarin helped the Nerazzurri pick up all three points.
Pescara had won three of their past four games but posed little threat to the home side. Inter dominated despite being without suspended duo Andrea Ranocchia and Juan Jesus, and Walter Samuel, Dejan Stankovic, Luca Castellazzi, Ricky Alvarez and Yuto Nagatomo, who were all missing through injury. The 18-year-old Marco Benassi had an impressive Serie A debut after two appearances in the Europa League.
"It went well because what's important is that Inter is reasserting itself again on the pitch," Inter coach Andrea Stramaccioni said. "We have taken steps forward in comparison to previous games against teams which defend a lot. Even with a lot of players out we created a lot and conceded very little. I'm happy for Benassi who showed he was ready, like all his other teammates. The group showed a desire to react, we have to continue like this."
Earlier, Bologna beat in-form Chievo Verona 4-0 thanks to a brace from Alberto Gilardino. Inter playmaker Wesley Sneijder, who was in discussions with Galatasaray over a possible move to the Turkish club, was watching from the stands at San Siro.
"It is a big decision I have to take, so I don't think it will be made by Monday," he said at halftime. "There's still two weeks until the end of the transfer market so we'll see."
Italian media report Sneijder is waiting for an offer from a bigger club, with the English Premier League thought to be his destination of choice. Palacio gave Inter the lead on the half hour as he controlled Cristian Chivu's pass and turned on the edge of the area to round Christian Terlizzi before firing into the bottom right corner.
Pescara struggled to create any opportunities and Inter doubled their lead nine minutes into the second half when Palacio forced his way into the area before unselfishly cutting back for Guarin to tap home from close range.
"We haven't lost our hunger after the recent victories," Pescara coach Cristiano Bergodi said. "Inter played well and we simply put in our worst performance in my time here. We must improve in terms of consistency. It was a deserved defeat after a below-par performance and I hope we can get back on track next Sunday against Torino."
In Bologna, Chievo had won four of their past five league games but found themself behind in the 12th minute when Panagiotis Kone lost his marker and ran into space by the penalty spot to head home Alessandro Diamanti's corner. Chievo upped the pressure and could have leveled four minutes from halftime as first Federico Agliardi made a great save to tip Cyril Thereau's free kick around the post, before they had a penalty appeal turned down when Bostjan Cesar appeared to have his shirt tugged by Nicolo Cherubin.
However, Bologna doubled their lead moments later. Diego Perez stole the ball off Thereau on the halfway line and threaded a wonderful pass through for Gilardino, who chipped they over Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino. Chievo had kept clean sheets in four of their last six Serie A games but fell further behind in the second half when Cesar failed to clear a corner and, in a goalmouth scramble, Gilardino bundled the ball home.
Alberto Paloschi could have got one back for Chievo late on but he had a goal ruled out for offside before striking the post. Manolo Gabbiadini, who also hit the post, scored Bologna's fourth a minute from fulltime. Bologna are provisionally five points above the relegation zone.