Inter Milan’s eight-match winning run in Serie A came to an end as two of their former players struck to give Sampdoria a shock 2-1 win in Genoa on Wednesday.
The two players, Antonio Candreva and Keita Balde Diao, scored to give the visitors a shock defeat.
Candreva converted from the penalty kick spot before Keita guided home a finish to give the hosts a two-goal lead at the interval.
A Stefan De Vrij header was all Inter Milan could muster in response.
Alexis Sanchez had a penalty kick saved early on but Inter Milan struggled to threaten in the absence of striker Romelu Lukaku.
The Belgian was only fit enough to feature for the final half hour and could not inspire a comeback.
The result left Antonio Conte frustrated as his side squandered the chance to go top of the table ahead of AC Milan, who were to face Juventus later on Wednesday.
“It was a strange match,” Conte said.
“Sometimes you lose games like this, where you don’t deserve it.”
Inter Milan remain second on 36 points, one behind their city rivals, while Sampdoria are 11th on 20 points.
Penalty kicks dominated the match’s opening stages as Inter Milan were awarded one for handball following a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review, which Emil Audero saved.
Later on, the same offence at the other end gave Candreva the chance to score against his former employers.
The hosts hit the bar through a Lorenzo Tonelli header.
Keita then doubled their advantage on the 38th minute after some excellent work by Mikkel Damsgaard to find the space to set him up with a cross.
Conte threw on attackers in search of a response as Ivan Perisic, Lukaku and Christian Eriksen were introduced, but De Vrij’s header from a corner -kick was their only breakthrough.
Lukaku picked up a muscular problem in Sunday’s 6-2 win against Crotone and was lacking fitness, but he managed to draw a sharp save from Audero with a header.
“It wasn’t the first time we’ve played without Romelu, even though he’s obviously a quality player,” Conte said.
“He wasn’t at 100 percent and you could see that when he came on.”
Inter Milan face AS Roma next, who moved three points behind the Milan club with a 3-1 win at Crotone.(Reuters/NAN)