Inter Milan made it three league victories in a row with a 3-1 triumph against Spezia on Friday.
Their victory moved them one point ahead, but AC Milan’s 2-0 victory against Genoa restored their two-point advantage at the top of the league.
After a cagey start, Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic stroked the ball home in the 31st minute on the end of Danilo D’Ambrosio’s knockdown to break the stalemate.
Chances came and went as Inter searched for the important second goal, but Argentine striker Lautaro Martinez poked one in in the 73rd minute to put his team in charge.
A late goal by Spezia captain Giulio Maggiore made for a nervous last few minutes for the championship contenders, but substitute Alexis Sanchez’s stoppage-time finish ended the game.
The hard-fought victory advanced Inter to 69 points from 32 games, two points behind AC Milan, who defeated Genoa 2-0 at the San Siro. Spezia remains 15th with 33 points.