Inter secured Champions League qualification in the most dramatic fashion as Luciano Spalletti's men came from behind to beat 10-man Lazio 3-2 on Serie A's final day.
Lazio only needed to avoid defeat in what was effectively a play-off at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday, but they collapsed incredibly in the closing stages as captain Senad Lulic was dismissed.
Ivan Perisic's remarkable own-goal, an Adam Marusic shot deflecting in off the midfielder's face, gave Lazio the lead, but Danilo D'Ambrosio levelled with an acrobatic effort from close range.
Felipe Anderson's breakaway goal restored the lead and put Lazio in control at half-time, but the Nerazzurri somehow completed a stunning comeback with two goals in three minutes.
Referee Gianluca Rocchi had already changed his mind about one penalty for the visitors following a VAR review when he pointed to the spot after Stefan de Vrij - strongly rumoured to be joining Inter at the end of the season - hacked Mauco Icardi down in the box.
The Inter captain converted and, after Lulic was shown a second yellow card, Matias Vecino headed in Marcelo Brozovic's corner, Simone Inzaghi's men unable to muster a fightback of their own after the coach earlier made defensive changes to leave them fifth and devastated at the full-time whistle.
Icardi mishit an early chance and Antonio Candreva thudded a volley narrowly wide as Inter made a flying start.
Luiz Felipe should have opened the scoring, blazing over when picked out by a low left-wing Ciro Immobile cross, but Lazio led in the ninth minute in freakish circumstances.
Although Samir Handanovic denied rising star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Lazio kept the ball alive and when Marusic let fly the ball cannoned in off the face of the helpless Perisic.
Icardi missed a golden chance to level in the 22nd minute, dragging wide after Joao Cancelo's interception and throughball, Milinkovic-Savic denied by the woodwork from a superb free-kick at the other end moments later.
Inter's equaliser was no less dramatic than the opener, Thomas Strakosha keeping out D'Ambrosio's initial effort but unable to stop the full-back turning home the rebound, the goalkeeper's protests that he was fouled falling on deaf ears.
Lazio retook the lead in the 41st minute with a sensational break, Anderson rolling in a superb finish after he and captain Lulic countered at rapid pace to unlock Inter's defence.
Icardi was becoming influential but Anderson rippled the side-netting as Lazio again threatened on the counter, Spalletti's side growing increasingly desperate with their own attacks.
Rocchi awarded Inter a penalty in the 72nd minute after Milinkovic-Savic appeared to handle the ball in the box, but after consulting VAR the referee elected not to award the spot-kick, replays showing the ball hit Serbia international on the shoulder.
100 - Mauro Icardi scored tonight his 100th goal in Serie A for Inter, in 159 games played. Nerazzurro.— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) May 20, 2018
But Rocchi had no choice but to point to the spot when Icardi was hacked down by De Vrij - the Lazio defender having confirmed he is leaving the club at the end of his contract.
The Inter skipper stepped up to slot in past Handanovic and set up a dramatic finale in the capital, Lulic seeing red after losing composure and needlessly bringing down Brozovic.
And when Brozovic floated a corner to the near post, Vecino met it with a glancing header to secure Inter's Champions League qualification at the expense of their heartbroken hosts, who saw substitute Patric sent from the touchline in the dying stages.
Key Opta stats:
- Inter have qualified for the next Champions League; it's the first time for the Nerazzurri since 2011-12.
- Inter have won last three away league games, as many as their previous 12.
- Lazio have picked up only two points in the last three league games, after they had won five of their previous six (1 draw).
- Danilo D'Ambrosio has scored nine of his 11 Serie A goals from corner situations.
|Thunder´s Westbrook: ´When we defend like that — best team in the league´|
|Kante at his best further forward, reiterates Sarri|
|Rose capitulates in Indonesia to squander chance to top rankings|
|Fielding: The better man won but I lived a dream|
|Rallying Bulls stun Spurs, LeBron and Ball post triple-doubles|
|Latham century puts New Zealand in commanding position|
|Mayfield leads Browns past Broncos|
|Canelo-GGG trilogy? We can make it happen – Alvarez|
|Canelo outclasses Fielding by third-round TKO|
|Farmer retains title prior to Canelo-Fielding bout|
|Qatar unveils Lusail Stadium for 2022 World Cup|
|Lakers pair LeBron, Ball revel in triple-double feat|
|Allegri hails ´great professional´ Ronaldo|
|LeBron, Ball first Lakers team-mates with triple-doubles in same game since 1982|
|Premier League contenders Liverpool ready to win titles – Henderson|
|Hopkins´ two TDs help Texans close in on AFC South title with win over Jets|
|Courtois: Simeone criticises Real Madrid to boost popularity|
|Mourinho in the dark over transfers as Pogba rumours swirl again|
|Mourinho marvels at Salah going nuclear|
|The lucky ones - Mourinho assesses Liverpool´s title charge|
|Juventus boss Allegri turned his back on Ronaldo penalty|
|Dickerson hoping Barkley falls short of breaking his records|
|Bristol shock La Rochelle, Clermont win again|
|LeBron: Meeting Jordan for first time was godly|
|Ronaldo scores Juventus´ 5,000th Serie A goal|
|I was all over the place - Allen reaches Scottish Open final despite hangovers|
|Solari defends wasteful Asensio after slim Madrid win|
|Torino 0 Juventus 1: Ronaldo capitalises on Zaza woe|
|I do my work on the pitch – Icardi unconcerned by Inter contract discussions|
|Lyon defender Rafael set for three months out|
|Inter captain Icardi is the ´perfect´ striker – Spalletti|
|Fulham have to stick together, says Ranieri|
|Nuno hails ´very special´ Wolves achievement after third straight win|
|Stuttgart captain Gentner´s father dies at Hertha fixture|
|Valverde not desperate for new centre-back amid talk of Christensen loan|
|Toulouse and Saracens stay perfect in Champions Cup|
|Kovac lauds Bayern´s best performance of the season|
|Barcelona can get the best out of Coutinho and Dembele, claims Valverde|
|Borussia Dortmund 2 Werder Bremen 1: Alcacer and Reus guarantee top spot for mid-season break|
|Bristol City 2 Norwich City 2: Canaries knocked off their perch despite late equaliser|
|Atletico´s fighting spirit lauded by Simeone, Godin|
|Hodgson relieved to see Palace end Zaha curse|
|Real Madrid 1 Rayo Vallecano 0: Benzema secures steady response to CSKA loss|
|Fulham 0 West Ham 2: Snodgrass, Antonio punish profligate hosts|
|Warnock brands refereeing situation ´a disgrace´ after Watford defeat|
|Inter 1 Udinese 0: Icardi penalty gets lethargic Nerazzurri back on track|
|Wagner retains belief in survival bid despite Newcastle defeat|
|Griezmann feeling the strain after busy 2018|
|Pochettino ´so pleased´ as tired Tottenham scrap to Burnley win|
|Man Utd hand Smalling new contract|
|ES Tunis 0 Al Ain 3: Convincing victory books River Plate semi|
|Championship Review: Bamford fires Leeds to summit, Middlesbrough defeated by QPR|
|Curry reacts to Kings´ trolling with moon landing video|
|Wentz ruled out of Rams clash|
|Pochettino reaches 100 Premier League wins for Tottenham faster than Wenger for Arsenal|
|Real Valladolid 2 Atletico Madrid 3: Griezmann the hero on landmark appearance|
|Silva rues Richarlison´s missed chances at City|
|Gibson has no worries over Proteas batsmen|
|Wolves 2 Bournemouth 0: Jimenez and Cavaleiro score against toothless Cherries|
|Crystal Palace 1 Leicester City 0: Captain Milivojevic earns vital victory|
|Watford 3 Cardiff City 2: Hornets hang on despite late fightback|
|Tottenham 1 Burnley 0: Eriksen snatches victory at the death|
|Huddersfield Town 0 Newcastle United 1: Rondon strike settles scrap|
|Sabres suspend forward Berglund for failing to report to the team|
|Saunders thanks Fury for getting him ´back on the right track´|
|Hannover 0 Bayern Munich 4: Gnabry and Kimmich star in crushing win|
|I admire Sterling – Guardiola|
|City´s strength in depth makes it hard for me – Jesus|
|Jamieson holds slender lead in Malelane|
|Kashima Antlers 3 Guadalajara 2: Comeback win sets up Real Madrid semi-final|