Inter Milan’s Davide Frattesi struck in added time to snatch a 2-1 win against Hellas Verona, who missed a late penalty, as the hosts moved five points clear in Serie A on Saturday.
Inter stretched the gap to five points over second-placed Juventus, who visit bottom side Salernitana on Sunday, which means Simone Inzaghi’s side claim the title of Winter Champions.
The defeat saw Verona drop into the relegation zone in 18th spot on 14 points.
Inter opened the scoring through Lautaro Martinez in the 13th minute when Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s pass found the Argentina international in the box ahead of defender Josh Doig and he calmly shot low past goalkeeper Lorenzo Montipo into the corner.
Davide Frattesi’s late winner took Inter Milan five points clear at the top of the Serie A.
Martinez had missed the last two games through injury, and his 16th league goal in 17 games sees him well ahead in the Serie A scoring charts, with Sassuolo’s Domenico Berardi his closest challenger on nine goals.
“Lautaro is very important for us, scoring was crucial but now we have to close out the game,” Mkhitaryan said at halftime.
Martinez did have the ball in the net three minutes after the break but offside was given against Francesco Acerbi.
Verona equalised in the 74th when Thomas Henry, who had only been on the pitch for a minute, got a touch to Ondrej Duda’s cross that beat Inter keeper Yann Sommer.
Marko Arnautovic was guilty of missing two chances to restore Inter’s lead and it looked as if they would have to settle for their second consecutive draw.
But added time brought plenty of drama as Alessandro Bastoni’s volley hit the crossbar and after Nicolò Barella’s follow-up shot from distance was parried by Montipo, substitute Frattesi pounced to score in the 93rd minute.
Before the restart Verona were down to 10-men when Darko Lazovic was shown a red card for saying something to the referee but the visitors still had a chance to equalise with a penalty.
A foul by Matteo Darmian gave Henry the opportunity to net his second and deny Inter the victory but his scuffed spot kick hit the post and the home side held on for the three points.