MILAN: French teenager Yann Karamoh scored the winner as Inter Milan ended a two-month victory drought to move back third with a 2-1 win against nine-man Bologna on Monday.
Eder opened the scoring after three minutes at the San Siro only for former Inter Milan star Rodrigo Palacio to pull Bologna level after 25 minutes.
But Karamoh, 19, marked his first Serie A start by grabbing a stunning winner after 63 minutes to give Luciano Spalletti’s side their first three points since December 3.
“It’s not easy to get through times like this,” said Spalletti whose side had taken just six points from their previous eight games.
“We started very strong this season with an incredible run of results, so expectations were unduly raised.”
Bologna were down a man after Ibrahima Mbaye was sent off on 68 minutes for a second yellow card, with defender Adam Masina also seeing red in injury time for a foul on Lisandro Lopez.
“Today we did really well. We took the lead, there was an error for the equaliser and the ghosts of games past came back to haunt us again,” continued the Inter coach.
The win lifted Inter up to third place, one point ahead of Roma who moved into the Champions League spots after coming from a goal down to beat bottom club Benevento 5-2 at the Stadio Olimpico.
Lazio drop from third to fifth after suffering their third consecutive defeat — a 4-1 thumping by leaders Napoli on Saturday.
Napoli maintained their one-point advantage on champions Juventus who beat Fiorentina 2-0 on Friday with Inter now 15 points off top spot.
Inter’s top scorer Mauro Icardi remained on the sidelines through injury with Karamoh getting his first start in place of Antonio Candreva.
And the teenager made an immediate impact, opening the way for Croatian Marcelo Brozovic who set up Eder for the close-range opener.
But Palacio, who left Inter for Bologna last year, equalised on 25 minutes after a blunder saw defender Miranda mistakenly pass to the Argentine.
Karamoh grabbed the winner after exchanging passes with Rafinha, dribbling past two opponents with his left-footed effort from distance leaving Antonio Mirante with no chance.
Mbaye and Masina were sent off for tackles on Rafinha and Lopez respectively, but Bologna, who drop to 13th, still threatened in the final minutes.
“He (Karamoh) did well, but at other times he takes a break and it becomes difficult for us if we lose possession of the ball,” said Spalletti.
“As a boy he easily gets depressed, but then he has incredible fire. In short, he must grow.”
Turkish youngster Cengiz Under scored a brace as Roma came back after conceding a shock early goal when new Benevento signing Guilherme Costa scored after seven minutes.
Federico Fazio headed in on 26 minutes to equalise, with Edin Dzeko also getting on the scoresheet in the second half before 20-year-old Under netted on 62 and 75 minutes.
Benevento, with just seven points from 24 games, fought back with former Manchester City and Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna making his debut, Enrico Brignola scoring their second.
But Gregoire Defrel scored the fifth from the spot two minutes into injury time to give Roma their second consecutive win.
“Benevento had nothing to lose and are starting to form an identity, so we did well to turn it around,” said Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco.
Elsewhere Sampdoria, in sixth, saw off second-from-bottom Verona 2-0 to stay ahead of European rivals AC Milan, who went on a four-goal spree at SPAL on Friday.
Andrea Belotti scored on his return from injury as Torino, in ninth, beat Udinese 2-0 amid more video assistant referee (VAR) controversy.
Udinese looked to have taken the lead after a Kevin Lasagna header bounced off the crossbar with Antonin Barak finishing off the rebound.
But after minutes viewing VAR, the referee disallowed the goal for a Maxi Lopez push on Nicolas Burdisso.