The Nerazzurri knew they had to win here and hope Milan lost to Sassuolo at the Mapei Stadium to retain their title, as they were two points behind the leaders with an inferior head-to-head record. Roberto Gagliardini was the only injury absentee for the hosts, while Omar Colley was suspended with Sebastian Giovinco, Manolo Gabbiadini, Andrea Conti and Albin Ekdal sidelined.
Audero parried the Lautaro Martinez snapshot, but they went into the break not only at 0-0, but also hearing Milan were leading 3-0 away to Sassuolo.
The Sampdoria goalkeeper was again decisive, rushing off his line and making himself big to get a hand to Barella’s effort after a quick give and go.
Inter did finally take the lead when Barella burst through the middle and laid it off with a no-look pass for Perisic to sweep across Audero with the inside of the left boot.
That broke the dam and Calhanoglu set up Joaquin Correa to curl first-time into the far bottom corner. Moments later, Candreva’s shot was charged down, sparking a counter-attack that saw Correa complete his brace by shaking off a defender and nutmegging another with the finish.
During that move, Perisic hurt his right calf and had to be stretchered off. Audero denied Stefan de Vrij and Yoshida got in the way of the Lautaro Martinez follow-up, while Toro forced another low Audero save.
Inter 3-0 Sampdoria
Perisic 49 (I), Correa 55, 57 (I)