Rarely does a game live up to its pre-match hype, but the Sampdoria - Inter clash exceeded expectations… in the first 20 minutes.
The Nerazzurri ended their four-game winless skid with a 4-0 victory, which was not as comfortable as the scoreline would suggest.
Inter were on the back foot for most of the first half even after Citanin Eder was sent off in the 20th minute and had Samir Handanovic to thank for its 1-0 lead as the Slovenian keeper made a plethora of top-class saves.
To their credit, the Beneamata came out and dominated 10-man Samp in the second half and departed Genoa feeling pretty good about themselves.
Rightfully so as Walter Mazzarri's men silenced the Samp faithful, who were foaming at the mouth in the early stages for reasons every hack in the hemisphere has duly dissected to death in the last week.
It was a big victory for Inter and a much-needed three points ahead of a challenging slate of games to end the season.
Here are four reasons why the Nerazzurri will be in high spirits ahead of next weekend's pivotal clash against Parma…
The Sky's The Limit For Mauro Icardi
'Kid Icarus' has been unplayable in the last two games and has four goals to show for his efforts; All the more impressive given his lack of sleep in recent weeks. Maurito has come in for some serious flak for his torrid tryst with you know who, but I thought he handled himself like a seasoned veteran on Sunday, especially after Maxi Lopez turned down his olive branch during the pre-match handshake.
There was an excessive amount of vitriol spewed at the youngster from all directions and if the worst thing he did was celebrate his goal a little too emphatically for the referee's liking then I'm over the moon with that.
I'm not ready to anoint him the next coming of Christ, but Icardi has what it takes to be a legitimate star at Inter and to think there were reports in January linking him with a loan move to Monaco with an option to purchase. Crazy.
Walter Samuel Still Has Some Gas Left In The Tank
The 'Wall' might have lost a step or two in the past few years, but he still has what it takes to play at the top level as his performances in the last two months have shown. The Argentine is still susceptible to younger, quicker players blowing by him, but he has enough fortitude to handle himself admirably in the line of fire.
Inter has had trouble putting teams away when taking a one-goal lead this season and it looked as if that trend was about to rear its ugly head once more until Samuel scored early in the second half to open up the floodgates.
Samuel has expressed his desire to play another year and I think he would be more than a capable backup for Nemanja Vidic, who is bound to miss a few games due to injury next term.
Mateo Kovacic Needs To Start Every Match
The young Croatian dynamo was given the green light from the opening whistle and took full advantage with a stellar display and satisfied the majority of armchair managers in the process.
Kovacic was confident on the ball and proved to be a steady influence in the first half, especially with Hernanes struggling with his first touch among other things. The teenager oozed class in the final 45 minutes and proved just why he needs to be included in every match until the season ends.
He needs as much game time as possible to evolve into an elite playmaker and it's probably a good idea for the club to keep the youngster happy with a host of Premier League teams sniffing around San Siro.
Handanovic Is The Man... For Now
The 29-year-old keeper was the man of the match after stringing together a multitude of wonderful saves in the first half, including a penalty from Maxi Lopez to ensure Inter went into the break on top.
Handanovic showed why he is one of the most sought after shot stoppers in the world and has attracted interest from across the continent. Inter has a huge choice to make in the summer. Do the Nerazzurri sell Handanovic with Francesco Bardi waiting in wings?
It's a delicate decision that Inter's top brass must get right as it could have major ramifications for years to come.