Andrea Ranocchia’s 63rd-minute goal gave Inter Milan a third successive win to continue their improvement in Serie A.
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Ranocchi headed in Maicon’s cross to give Claudio Ranieri’s men a 1-0 victory over struggling hosts Cesena at the Stadio Dino Manuzzi.
Inter looked the most likely scorers in the first half hour, with Yuto Nagatomo and Thiago Motta both producing shots which failed to find the target before Philippe Coutinho’s effort went narrowly over in the 28th minute.
Cesena – for whom Eder shot over with their first chance – then threatened in the 34th minute, with Marco Parolo’s right-footed shot from outside the Inter penalty box going just wide.
Three minutes later Luca Ceccarelli’s effort went narrowly wide for the home side, before Inter finished the half strongly with a shot from Diego Milito which went just over shortly before the interval.
Inter pressed strongly for a goal at the start of the second half and Maicon set up Giampaolo Pazzini for a 47th-minute effort which went just wide.
The same pair combined four minutes later, with Pazzini heading just wide – and the striker also saw a right-footed shot go wide.
However, the visitors made the breakthrough in the 63rd minute when Ranocchia provided the right finish to Maicon’s ball from five yards out.
On-loan Bari forward Abdelkader Ghezzal tried his luck from 35 yards in the 72nd minute but failed to beat Inter goalkeeper Nicola Ravaglia, before Pazzini shot over.
On-loan Udinese midfielder Antonio Candreva shot high over for Cesena five minutes later.
However, Inter held on for three points and had the final chance of the game – four minutes into injury time – when Cesena keeper Francesco Antonioli saved Dejan Stankovic’s effort, which followed good work from Javier Zanetti.