Inter beat Napoli 2-1 at home on Sunday to leapfrog their opponents into the second place with four points off Serie A leaders Juventus.
Fredy Guarin and Diego Milito scored for Andrea Stramaccioni's side, whose win was also thanks to Napoli's profligacy of chances.
Edinson Cavani got a goal back for the visitors, but they paid the price for poor finishing and misfortune in front of goal as they relinquished second spot and fell five points behind Juventus, with Inter one point above them.
Napoli head coach Walter Mazzarri admitted Inter were more clinical than his side, although "the second half was our monologue."
"Andrea Stramaccioni's side did well to take all their scoring opportunities," sighed Mazzarri.
"The game was in the balance right to the end, so that was what made the difference. The second half was our monologue. I complimented the lads for their performance, but pointed out they have got to be more determined in front of goal," he said.
The win lifted Inter into the second place and their head coach Andrea Stramaccioni said his side could challenge any team.
"It is an important victory that shows we can challenge anyone. I have to compliment my players for being able to limit a great team like Napoli tonight," he said.
Juventus welcomed back their boss Antonio Conte to the dugout with 1-0 win at Palermo. Full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner scored the winner for the defending champions.
It was the first time Conte has supervised his team on a match day since he was banned from the touchline for his alleged involvement in match-fixing.
Lichtsteiner's goal five minutes into the second half was the only goal in the game as Palermo played the last 15 minutes with ten men after Michel Morganella saw red after picking up two bookings.
AC Milan continued their recent Serie A resurgence with an eye-catching 4-2 win on the road at Torino.
Successive wins over Juventus and Catania had lightened the mood in the Milan camp after a dismal start to the campaign, and this convincing victory means Massimiliano Allegri's men are now well involved in the pack jostling for the European berths.
Milan's victory came the hard way today after they fell behind to a Mario Santana strike, but four unanswered goals from Robinho, Antonio Nocerino, Giampaolo Pazzini and Stephan El Shaarawy took the game away from the hosts.
Rolando Bianchi added a second for Torino with ten minutes remaining but by then Giampiero Ventura's men were already resigned to a fourth match without victory.
Two second-half goals lifted Pescara off the foot of the table with a 2-0 victory over free-falling Genoa.
Gonzalo Bergessio's brace condemned Siena to another defeat as the basement boys let slip a half-time lead to lose 3-1 at home to Catania.
Second-half goals from Alberto Paloschi and Cyril Thereau handed Chievo their second away win of the Serie A season as they won 2-0 at Cagliari.