MILAN - Adriano scored twice and Obafemi Martins once as Inter beat Cagliari 3-2 at the Giuseppe Meazza to move back up to second place in the Serie A table.
Playing his last Serie A match before the African Nations Cup, Martins raced on to an Adriano pass, shrugged off a challenge from Bizera then sent a diagonal shot past Chimenti for Inter's opening goal after ten minutes. It was his sixth in matches against Cagliari, 44th for Inter and the 100th goal scored by the strike partnership of Martins and Adriano.
The Brazilian put the pair on their way to a second century of Nerazzurri goals with Inter's second and his 57th for the club on the quarter-hour mark with a far-post tap-in after a surging run down the right by captain Javier Zanetti.
Cagliari pulled one back five minutes later, Esposito slotting first-time through Julio Cesar's legs after meeting a Suazo pass, but Adriano restored Inter's two-goal lead soon after the restart with an unstoppable penalty kick after being brought down in the box by Capone.
With under ten minutes remaining Rossoblu captain Suazo gave Cagliari a lifeline when his 20-yard free kick went in off Samuel, but the Nerazzurri held on for their first win of 2006.
INTER 3-2 CAGLIARI (HT: 2-1)
Scorers: Martins 10, Adriano 15, (pen) 58, Esposito 20, Suazo 81
INTER: 1 Julio Cesar; 4 J.Zanetti, 2 Cordoba, 25 Samuel, 16 Favalli; 7 Figo (8 Pizarro 79), 6 C.Zanetti, 19 Cambiasso, 5 Stankovic; 10 Adriano (9 Cruz 65), 30 Martins
Subs not used: 1 Toldo, 3 Burdisso, 18 Kily Gonzalez, 21 Solari, 23 Materazzi
Coach: Roberto Mancini
CAGLIARI: 25 Chimenti; 4 Bega, 3 Canini, 2 Bizera, 31 Agostini; 18 Abeijon (19 Cocco 78), 5 Conti (16 Budel 62), 8 Gobbi, 21 Capone (27 Cossu 62); 7 Esposito, 9 Suazo
Subs not used: 12 Campagnolo, 6 Lopez, 14 Pisano, 24 Conticchio,
Coach: Nedo Sonetti
Referee: Antonio Dattilo (Locri)
Bookings: Favalli 16, Abeijon 37, Gobbi 56, Canini 75, Bega 87, Martins 87