MILAN - The Nerazzurri have taken all three points at the Meazza by beating Livorno 2-0. Bardi's own goal in the first half set Inter on their way then Nagatomo wrapped things up late on following some classy build-up play by Zanetti and Kovacic. The San Siro crowd again paid tribute to Massimo Moratti and erupted with joy as the skipper made his long-awaited return to the pitch.
Mazzarri made one enforced change to the team that convincingly beat Udinese last weekend, Rolando coming in for the suspended Juan Jesus alongside Ranocchia and Samuel in a three-man defence. Elsewhere Jonathan recovered to take up his position on the right flank with Nagatomo on the opposite channel, Taider, Cambiasso and Alvarez in the middle, and Guarin in behind Palacio.
The Meazza faithful rose to their feet to give president Moratti a standing ovation as he took his place in the stand.
After a slow start, the deadlock was broken on the half-hour mark when Jonathan whipped in a low delivery from the right and Livorno keeper Bardi was unable to deal with it properly, inadvertently sending the ball into his own net.
Palacio then had a good chance to make it two on the stroke of half time after receiving the ball in the area, but Luci put him off with an attempted tackle that should have seen a penalty awarded.
Inter held a 1-0 lead at half time.
Mazzarri's men upped the tempo in the second period and fashioned a number of chances to double their advantage, but Bardi was in no mood to concede any more.
In the 82nd minute it was time for Zanetti to return to the action after his Achilles injury on 28 April 2013 (Palermo v Inter): a roar went up around the stadium as he entered the pitch.
The Nerazzurri did get a second goal in added time and the skipper was at the heart of it: he charged forward with the ball before feeding Kovacic, who dinked a delicate pass in behind the visitors' rearguard for Nagatomo to run onto and blast home.
It ended 2-0 to Inter with the three points taking them within touching distance of the top three.
Inter 2-0 Livorno (HT: 1-0)
Scorers: Bardi 30 (og), Nagatomo 90+1.
Inter: Handanovic; Ranocchia, Rolando, Samuel; Jonathan, Taider (Zanetti 82), Cambiasso, Alvarez (Kovacic 58), Nagatomo; Guarin (Belfodil 71); Palacio.
Subs not used: Carrizo, Castellazzi, Andreolli, Mudingayi, Kuzmanovic, Wallace, Puscas, Donkor, Olsen.
Coach: Walter Mazzarri.
Livorno: Bardi; Gemiti (Borja 47), Paulinho, Luci, Mbaye, Ceccherini, Emerson, Siligardi (Emeghara 65), Schiattarella, Valentini, Duncan (Benassi 46).
Subs not used: Anania, Aldegani, Piccinni, Decarli, Belingheri, Lambruhi.
Coach: Davide Nicola.
Booked: Duncan 24, Ranocchia 32, Samuel 33, Paulinho 74, Schiattarella 82, Rolando 90+4.
Added time: 2 + 3 minutes.