Inter 3 Pescara 0: Pioli's men secure seventh successive league win
Inter's charge up the Serie A table continued on Saturday as they beat struggling Pescara 3-0 in their seventh successive league win to move up to fourth.
Stefano Pioli has overseen a remarkable upturn in form since replacing Frank de Boer in November and they were ruthless at San Siro against Pescara, continuing their impressive winning streak to capitalise on Lazio's defeat at home to Chievo and move up one place in the standings.
Pescara's form coming into the contest was in stark contrast to Inter's, having lost 10 in 12 in Serie A, and the only surprising aspect of the hosts' opening goal was that it took 23 minutes to arrive.
Danilo D'Ambrosio was the one to break Pescara's resolve and Joao Mario added a second just before the break to effectively put the game beyond the relegation favourites.
Inter were significantly less dominant after the interval, as they sat back and appeared content to let Pescara have the ball.
But they did eventually finish things off, as second-half substitute Eder converted shortly after his introduction, wrapping up a routine triumph to strengthen their challenge for a Champions League spot.
Rock-bottom Pescara were unsurprisingly subjected to relentless pressure right from the start in Milan and, although the home side took a little while to click in the final third, the visitors struggled to contain them.
Inter's dominance eventually paid off in the 23rd minute, as D'Ambrosio made the most of slack marking to steer Marcelo Brozovic's pinpoint left-wing cross in at the back post.
That goal gave Inter further encouragement and Ivan Perisic nearly added another just after the half-hour mark, seeing his curling left-footed effort go just wide from 25 yards.
Pescara were their own worst enemies on numerous occasions and they almost gifted Inter a second goal a few moments later, when Joao Mario intercepted debutant Grigoris Kastanos' woeful pass across the edge of the box before shooting straight at Albano Bizzarri.
But the Portugal international made amends just before the break, latching on to Perisic's teasing delivery to give Inter a two-goal cushion.
Inter appeared to ease off a little at the start of the second half, allowing Pescara to see more of the ball and as a result they almost pulled one back in the 59th minute.
Jean-Christophe Bahebeck burst into the left side of the Inter box and saw his shot blocked by Samir Handanovic, before Valerio Verre smashed the rebound just over.
That let-off seemed to jolt Inter back into life and a few moments later Perisic again went close from 25 yards, as the home side looked to finish Pescara off.
And eventually the result was put beyond all doubt 17 minutes from time – Mauro Icardi squaring across the face of goal despite appearing to be offside and teeing Eder up for an easy finish.