Inter moved back to within a point of Napoli and Milan thanks to a 2-0 win at Venezia on Saturday, as Hakan Calhanoglu scored in a third consecutive Serie A game for the first time in his career.
Simone Inzaghi's men defeated leaders Napoli last weekend to boost their title defence, and they never looked like dropping points in Venice.
Venezia, who were chasing a third successive Serie A win for the first time since 1962, failed to impose themselves in the first half and deservedly trailed at the break to Calhanoglu's low drive.
Only Bayern Munich and Liverpool had scored more goals than Inter across the top five European leagues before the weekend. While that did not translate to a free-scoring exhibition this time, Inter finished Venezia off with a late Lautaro Martinez penalty to keep pressure on the top two ahead of their Sunday outings.
Despite dominating, Inter did not threaten the Venezia goal until the 30th minute when Sergio Romero leapt across his goal to keep Ivan Perisic's header out.
Romero was helpless soon after, however, as Calhanoglu squeezed a skidding 25-yard shot just inside the left post.
Venezia almost levelled with their very first shot five minutes later, with Samir Handanovic tipping Mattia Aramu's long-range piledriver over the crossbar.
Aramu went close from distance again just after the break, this time just missing the top-left corner after cutting in from the right wing.
Inter woke up again as Edin Dzeko tested Romero, before Ridgeciano Haps cleared a Milan Skriniar header off the line to keep Venezia in the game.
Romero made several more fine saves, but the visitors finally got the clincher at the death. Haps was deemed to have committed a handball in the box and Martinez confidently dispatched the resulting spot-kick.