Inter Milan edged closer to the top of Serie A with a comfortable 2-0 win against struggling Pescara, who can count themselves lucky to have got away with such a modest scoreline at the Stadio San Siro.
Goals from Rodrigo Palacio and Fredy Guarin earned Andrea Stramaccioni's side all three points in a game the Nerazzurri controlled from start to finish.
Only a case of poor and tame finishing denied Inter a greater victory, yet the three points took them above Napoli into third place, a point behind Lazio and six adrift of league leaders Juventus, who travel to Parma tomorrow.
Palacio went close to opening the scoring early on and it was soon clear that Inter meant business.
Pescara rarely broke out of their own half and they allowed Inter the lion's share of the possession, but it was not until the half-hour mark that the Nerazzurri finally created something worthwhile.
That was when Palacio received the ball on the edge of the penalty area and picked his spot low into the bottom right-hand corner to give Inter the lead.
Palacio was involved in Inter's second goal in the 54th minute, this time choosing to square the ball for Guarin rather than shooting after being put through on goal again.
Guarin was given the easy task of stroking the ball in from seven yards, placing his shot through two Pescara defenders guarding the goal.
The rest of the game was a case of Inter wasting good chances, or showing reluctance to really give it their best.
Perhaps in view of a Coppa Italia quarter-final tie with Bologna on Tuesday, they conserved their energy, and possession, without causing Pescara too many problems.
Antonio Cassano got angry with himself when he overhit a pass aimed at teeing up Palacio for a third, but his anger appeared more exaggerated than sincere.
The only time Pescara did get a sight of goal was in the 77th minute when Jonathas was gifted the ball inside the penalty area by Cristian Chivu, but he blazed the ball over on the volley, missing the target considerably.