Inter Milan returned to winning ways in Serie A with a 3-0 win at Empoli on Sunday after second-half goals from Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez snapped its five-match winless run in the league.
While Inter has soared in the Champions League to reach the semifinals for the first time since 2010, its Serie A form had plummeted as it dropped out of the top four having been second in the league.
Sunday’s result moved Inter provisionally up to fifth in the standings with 54 points, but its city rival and Champions League semifinal opponent AC Milan (53 points) can leapfrog it when it takes on Lecce later on Sunday.
Inter struggled to break down a resolute Empoli defence in a goalless first half as the visitors lacked precision in the final third against a well-organised wall of blue shirts.
But Inter finally made the breakthrough three minutes after the restart as Lukaku played a one-two pass with Marcelo Brozovic before firing a low shot into the bottom corner for his first league goal from open play since August.
The goal from his weaker right foot revitalised Lukaku, and the Belgian doubled Inter’s lead in the 76th minute with a driving effort across goal, this time scoring with his stronger left foot into the opposite bottom corner.
Lukaku then turned provider in the dying stages of the game when he released Martinez, and the Argentine striker fired home for his 15th league goal of the season as Inter sealed all three points.
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