Fredy Guarin brace helps Inter Milan to convincing win at Atalanta
Inter Milan picked up their second win in a row by beating Atalanta 4-1 to keep up their pursuit of a place in Europe next season and warm them up for a trip to Celtic in the Europa League on Thursday night.
Xherdan Shaqiri put them in front with a penalty in the second minute after Fredy Guarin went down inside the penalty area, but Maximiliano Moralez equalised in a good spell for the hosts.
Two goals from Guarin put Roberto Mancini's men in the driving seat and Rodrigo Palacio rounded off their second win by three goals in a row while Atalanta played much of the second half with 10 men after Yohan Benalouane was sent off.
Less than a minute was on the clock when Guarin went down in the area rather easily and a penalty was given with Gianpaolo Bellini punished.
Shaqiri stepped up to net his first goal of the season in Seire A with Marco Sportiello getting a hand to the ball, but failing to keep it out.
Atalanta's response was immediate with Mauricio Pinilla missing a glorious chance to level from just a yard out, at full stretch, lifting the ball over from Davide Zappacosta's cross.
Pinilla then set up Moralez to score a deserved equaliser in the 28th minute, putting the ball back in Inter's court after a good 25 minutes of one-way pressure.
They responded well and, 10 minutes later, regained their lead when Guarin was allowed to advance with the ball at his feet and, when he was 20 yards out, he curled his shot into the far corner.
Like after the first Inter goal, Atalanta responded well and Luca Cigarini and Pinilla both went close to levelling before the interval.
Any hopes of them recovering were dashed early in the second half when Benalouane picked up his second yellow card to leave Atlanta with 10 men.
Palacio should have scored on the hour mark, but it was not long before Guarin put them further ahead, once again making most of the room afforded to him before curling an effort into the top right-hand corner from 25 yards.
Palacio completed the win with luck finally going his way, the ball ricocheting in off his shin from Guglielmo Stendardo's attempted clearance.