Lautaro Martínez has had to be patient since his move to Inter Milan but the former Racing Club youngster came off the bench to snatch an injury time winner against Napoli on Boxing Day.
Crowd trouble and racist chanting marred the game and will demand punishment but with the win Inter closed to within five points of second-placed Napoli.
Inter captain Mauro Icardi had hit the crossbar with an audacious effort from kick off and had a shot cleared off the line by Kalidou Koulibaly as neither side could find a breakthrough in what was a very even game between the two closest, albeit distant, challengers to Juventus.
The dominate Koulibaly, subject of those racist chants at the San Siro, was sent off ten minutes from time for two quick yellow cards after sarcastically applauding the referee and Inter were able to take advantage.
Keita Balde Diao’s injury time cross from the left found Martínez and the 20-year-old instintively fired into the bottom corner having only been on the pitch seven minutes.
Napoli’s defeat not only saw Inter edge closer but meant Juventus are now 14 points clear at the top of Serie A after the leaders drew 2-2 with Atalanta.
Papu Gómez had fed the ball into Duván Zapata to cancel out Juve’s opener and a second by the big Colombian looked like it might hand Atalanta the points. However, Cristiano Ronaldo snatched a point for ten-man Juve and another Serie A title already looks certain.
Roma remain down in seventh despite a win against Sassuolo. Diego Perotti scored his first of the season from the penalty spot to open the scoring but the Giallorossi remain well off the pace.
The Premier League’s traditional Boxing Day fixtures saw plenty of goals and a few surprises.
Manchester City saw Liverpool extend their lead at the top after the champions slipped to a second successive defeat against Leicester City.
When Sergio Agüero released Bernardo Silva to open the scoring, City looked on course for three points but a swift Marc Albrighton equaliser and a late Ricardo Pereira winner left Pep Guardiola’s side in third.
That, after Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur thrashed Bournemouth 5-0 to leapfrog City in second. Juan Foyth completed 90 minutes in Spurs’ clean sheet victory as the youngster continues to gain useful experience.
And finally Chelsea are in fourth after seeing off Watford. Eden Hazard scored twice to give the Blues all three points after the impressive Roberto Pereyra had volleyed his sixth goal of the season.
Pereyra has thrived for the Hornets this season and is now back in Argentina contention as a result.
Roberto Pereyra on the brink of halftime! A beauty! pic.twitter.com/e4SxqV4J8A
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) December 26, 2018