ROMELU LUKAKU struck twice against Udinese to keep Inter Milan within three points of Serie A leaders Juventus.
Lukaku bagged a brace in seven second-half minutes as Inter ran out 2-0 winners away from home on Sunday evening.
There were starts for January signings Christian Eriksen, Victor Moses and Ashley Young as Conte looked to keep Juve in check after they beat Fiorentina 3-0 earlier in the day thanks to a double from Cristiano Ronaldo.
Inter had drawn their last THREE matches 1-1 before Sunday’s clash.
But Lukaku’s 15th and 16th league goals of the season, the second of which was a penalty, ensured Maurizio Sarri’s Juve remain just three points clear at the top of the table.
They are also two points clear of Lazio, but the capital club do have a game in hand.
Speaking before the game, former Italy star and World Cup winner Gianluca Zambrotta told Sky Sports 24 that Lukaku will be key to Inter lifting their first Serie A title since 2010.
And with the Belgian’s form still looking strong, Zambrotta claims there was no need to rush through a deal for Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud in the January transfer market.
He said: “Lukaku’s arrival brought an important piece of what Conte was asking for, a physically strong central striker that makes the ball go forward, assists his teammates, moves 30 metres on the pitch alone and then gets to the shot and scores.
“He’s a really important player for Conte.
“Clearly if Inter are to be competitive again to hurt Juventus, there has to be a squad made up of great players.
“Giroud would certainly be a strong purchase, perhaps in the summer market.
“But Inter haven’t had a repair marker, but a market with important purchases.”
Inter (3-4-1-2): Padelli; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Moses (D’Ambrosio), Vecino, Barella, Young; Eriksen (Brozovic); Esposito (Sanchez), Lukaku.
Goals: Lukaku 64’, 71’ (P).
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