Inter Milan put more pressure on stuttering Serie A leaders Juventus when two goals by Romelu Lukaku and one from Alexis Sanchez gave them a 3-0 win at relegation-threatened Genoa on Saturday.
Inter, who have two games left, moved above Atalanta into second place with 76 points, four behind Juventus who host Sampdoria on Sunday. Juve, who have three games to play, will wrap up the title if they beat Sampdoria but they have looked shaky recently with one win in five games.
Genoa stayed 17th with 36 points, four clear of the relegation zone although Lecce, who are immediately below them, have a game in hand away to Bologna on Sunday.
Lukaku broke the deadlock when he got free of Cristian Zapata to head in from Cristiano Biraghi's cross in the 34th minute although Filip Jagiello struck the upright from a free kick shortly afterwards as the Griffins nearly equalised.
Inter coach Antonio Conte has complained repeatedly about the difficulties posed by a hectic fixture list and high temperatures, and his side seemed to be feeling the effects with a sluggish second-half performance.
"The problem is how you see the glass, whether half full or half empty," said Conte of second position.
"There are vintages where you sow little and you reap a lot and others in which you sow a lot and reap little, like this one.
"But there are numbers that speak clearly, that comfort. I think these lads are doing very good things. Of course, we can and must improve.
"We won't win the league but we have to be hungry to finish as high as possible."
Inter defender Andrea Ranocchia set up a Genoa counter-attack with a wayward pass out of defence but made amends by blocking Andrea Favilli as he ran on to Nicolo Rovella's through ball.
Yet Inter wrapped the game up in the last 10 minutes. Victor Moses slipped past a defender and his low cross found Sanchez who scored from close range with a shot off the underside of the bar with seven minutes left.
In stoppage time, Lukaku collected a pass out of defence, burst forward, cut inside a defender and drove the ball into the far corner for his 23rd league goal of the season.
"On a personal level, I'm happy, but as a team we can do so much more," said Lukaku, who moved third behind Hungarian Istvan Nyers (26) and Brazilian Ronaldo (25) for the mosts league goals scored by an Inter player in their debut season.
"It's not easy for us to be in second place, because we want to win and go as high as possible.
"Now we want to do well in these final rounds and then the Europa League."
(With inputs from Agencies)