MILAN (Reuters) - Inter Milan’s ambitions for Champions League football next season were boosted by a 3-1 triumph over Sampdoria that lifted them to fourth in Serie A on Saturday.
A first-half volley from Danilo D‘Ambrosio and strikes after the break from Miranda and Mauro Icardi enabled Roberto Mancini’s men to secure a hard-earned win at the San Siro before Sampdoria replied with a stoppage-time consolation by Fabio Quagliarella.
The victory, watched by former coach Jose Mourinho, meant Inter leapfrogged Roma, who host Palermo on Sunday, to move within a point of third-placed Fiorentina who visit Atalanta.
Inter are 10 points adrift of leaders Juventus, who drew 0-0 at Bologna on Friday, and eight points behind second-placed Napoli who entertain AC Milan on Monday.
It was not a straightforward win for Mancini’s team who were comfortably second best for 23 minutes until Jeison Murillo’s flick on from a corner allowed D‘Ambrosio to smash the ball home with his left foot at the far post.
Brazilian defender Miranda headed the second from close range in the 57th minute before captain Icardi completed the job against his former club with a fine run and finish in the 73rd.
Goals from Luca Toni, Giampaolo Pazzini and Artur Ionita gave bottom club Hellas Verona a 3-1 victory over Chievo Verona in a hotly-contested derby.
Their second win of the season revived Verona’s hopes of avoiding relegation.
Ionita sealed the win in stoppage time with a tremendous curling shot. Verona’s Vangelis Moras and Chievo’s Nicolas Spolli were sent off in the second half.
Toni also missed a penalty in the 29th minute.
Verona have 18 points, one behind second from bottom Carpi.
Reporting by Ian Chadband; Editing by Tony Jimenez