Former Inter striker Goran Pandev put a major dent in his old club's hopes of Europa League qualification by scoring the decisive objective inside a priceless 1-0 win for Genoa, who survived a late penalty to cling on for the win.
Inter had been on course to get a goalless draw that would have accomplished them handful of favours as they chase a top-six finish but Pandev pounced on a shot that rebounded off the crossbar within the 70th minute and scored his third aim with the season.
To produce matters worse for the visitors, Antonio Candreva had a penalty saved by Eugenio Lamanna within the 87th minute prior to Geoffrey Kondogbia was sent off, leaving Stefano Pioli's males devoid of a win in seven games and with just 3 matches left to haul themselves into the major six.
Nevertheless, their performance at Stadio Communale Luigi Ferraris lacked the urgency they are going to require in order to leapfrog rivals AC Milan, who sit straight above them inside the table with a three-point advantage ahead of hosting Roma later on Sunday.
Eder and Ivan Perisic went close in either half, when Roberto Gagliardini brought on Genoa troubles with his pace and movement, but top goalscorer Mauro Icardi was kept quiet throughout the contest.
The win was only Genoa's second in their final 20 matches, and it ensured they remain 16th inside the table, 5 points clear in the bottom 3.
Regardless of their lowly position, the strugglers started brightly and Giovanni Simeone was about to convert a Luca Rigoni cross immediately after 5 minutes when he went down under a challenge from behind by Gary Medel, however the referee judged the Chilean's tackle to become fair.
Getting weathered a spell of early stress, Inter went around the offensive and Kondogbia hammered a left-footed drive from 30 yards that flew just past the post inside the 14th minute.
Still struggling with an injury sustained from the early tackle by Medel, Simeone was forced off in the 18th minute and Ivan Juric sent on Pandev, who shot tamely at Samir Handanovic inside two minutes of his introduction.
It was not until just prior to the half-hour mark that Inter threatened once more, and Lamanna created a brilliant one-handed save from Eder's low drive shortly just before Candreva's deflected volley tested him once again.
Ivan Perisic burst down the left flank 5 minutes before the break and his cross squirmed under the body of Lamanna but there was no Inter player there to turn the ball into the empty purpose.
Genoa's Darko Lazovic triggered havoc down the best early in the second half, and he won a free-kick that Miguel Veloso bent towards objective, drawing a strong two-handed save from Handanovic.
Perisic discovered himself one-on-one with Lamanna soon after he linked up nicely with Eder, however the Croatian's shot was too close towards the goalkeeper who saved one-handed, prior to Genoa turned the match in a moment of drama.
Veloso unleashed a vicious drive that rattled the crossbar and Pandev was ideally placed to gleefully ram the rebound back past Handanovic having a left-footed shot.
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