MILAN: Inter Milan captain Mauro Icardi scored from the spot to get the fallen Italian giants back to winning ways with a 1-0 victory over Udinese on Saturday.
Luciano Spalletti's side were reeling after their midweek Champions League exit and falling 1-0 to Juventus last weekend in Turin.
But Icardi slotted in after 76 minutes at the San Siro with a cheeky 'Panenka' into the centre of goal after a penalty was awarded for a Seko Fofano handball.
It was the 25-year-old's ninth league goal this season and 120th for the club, and pulled Inter to within three points of second-placed Napoli and 11 of leaders Juventus, who play city rivals Torino later on Saturday.
The Argentine also hit the back of the net with a second goal after 89 minutes but it was ruled offside.
"It's the signal we had to give after Tuesday's game," said Icardi.
"The disappointment can be forgotten by winning, we have to finish this year in the best way we can."
Spalletti has been under increasing pressure after Inter let slip their chance to advance in the Champions League after a 1-1 draw with PSV Eindhoven.
Inter Milan missed several chances to break the deadlock in the opening half, goalkeeper Juan Musso notably denying Keita Balde and Kwadwo Asamoah.
Joao Mario then fired over the bar and an Icardi header flew past the post.
Udinese had a chance after the break when Fofana broke through and set up Rolando Mandragora but his effort was over the bar.
The Ivorian midfielder also created chances for Rodrigo De Paul and Ter Avest before his handball resulted in the penalty which Icardi converted.
Icardi had a rare miss in front of goal when he headed wide six minutes earlier after a Keita cross.
The club's new general manager, Giuseppe Marotta, watched in the tribunes alongside Inter's Chinese president Steven Zhang.
Former Juventus CEO Marotta was appointed during the week.
Meanwhile, Icardi's wife and agent Wanda Nara revealed earlier the Argentina striker is in the process of poring over his new deal.
"My wife is talking to the team, I just have to do my work on the pitch. They'll tell me when it's time to sign and I don't have to worry about it," he added.