Inter Milan moved up to third in the Serie A following a 3-0 win over Bari on Thursday. They are now seven points behind leader AC Milan, with a game in hand.
The flatters Inter as they did not play that well and had to rely in Julio Cesar several times to bail them out. But in a week when almost all the title contenders dropped point, Inter did not and that 12 point gap to Milan at the start of the year has been cut in half.
The first half was very bland with and Bari had the best chance of the first half when Sergio Almiron forced Julio Cesar into a terrific save with a powerful free kick.
After the break neither side improved, though Alessandro Parisi made Cesar pull off another save and Sneijder blasted over from close range.
Inter took the lead in the 70th when Houssine Kharja produced a rare moment of inspiration for his first goal since arriving on loan from Genoa at the end of the transfer window.
Kharja played a one-two with Samuel Eto’o and fired a low shot into the corner of the goal past Jean-Francois Gillet.
Three minutes later Parisi went close again, but Cesar pushed his powerful volley away for a corner. With 10 minutes remaining Cesar again came to Inter’s rescue by stopping Alessandro Gazzi’s effort.
In injury time Pazzini cut in from the left and lashed a shot past Gillet for his third goal in two games since joining from Sampdoria and then Sneijder had time and space to score his first league goal of the season.
Overall not a great performance by Inter but a very important three points. Since Leonardo replaced Rafa Benitez Inter have won six of seven Serie A games to pull themselves back into the title race.