Inter responded to Sunday's Derby d'Italia defeat to Juventus by crushing Bologna 6-1 at San Siro, with Federico Dimarco's double helping the Nerazzurri climb into Serie A's top four.
Inter were up against it when Charalampos Lykogiannis benefited from a fortunate deflection to hand Bologna the lead on Wednesday, but Edin Dzeko swiftly equalised with a well-taken volley.
Wing-back Dimarco then produced two excellent finishes either side of Lautaro Martinez's flicked effort as Inter put Thiago Motta's sorry visitors to the sword.
Simone Inzaghi's men – who moved within three points of second-placed Milan with the victory – were not done there, with Hakan Calhanoglu and Robin Gosens adding further gloss to the scoreline.
Bologna went close through Musa Barrow and Marko Arnautovic early on and led when Riccardo Orsolini's 22nd-minute shot deflected off Lykogiannis and into the bottom-right corner.
Inter responded brilliantly to that setback, however, finding the net three times in the next 20 minutes.
Dzeko instigated the turnaround with an outstanding right-footed volley from near the edge of the area, before Dimarco left Lukasz Skorupski with no chance when he drilled a free-kick into the bottom-left corner.
The Nerazzurri then extended their lead as half-time approached, with Martinez flicking Calhanoglu's corner home at the near post to take the game away from Bologna.
Dzeko nodded against the crossbar as Inter chased a fourth after the restart, but Dimarco was not to be denied a minute later when he cut in from the right before producing a cool finish.
Joaquin Sosa's handball then allowed Hakan Calhanoglu to slot in a 59th-minute penalty, before Gosens completed the rout by converting Dzeko's cut-back with 14 minutes remaining.
What does it mean? Nerazzurri still in Serie A contention
Sunday's 2-0 reverse in Turin left Inzaghi under genuine pressure, with Inter having failed to live up to their billing as pre-season Scudetto favourites during an inconsistent start to the campaign.
However, Inter offered a reminder of their attacking quality – even in the absence of Romelu Lukaku – by tearing Bologna apart.
The Nerazzurri have now scored 15 goals in their last three home league games against Bologna, while their dominant victory put them within touching distance of second place ahead of the World Cup break.
Evergreen Edin sparks Inter revival
Having lost back-to-back matches to Bayern Munich and Juventus ahead of Wednesday's game, Inter could have crumbled when they fell behind in the first half.
Instead, Dzeko instigated a Nerazzurri comeback by producing a moment of magic, continuing his fine record against Bologna. The former Manchester City striker has scored eight Serie A goals against the Rossoblu – against no team has he found the net more often in the competition (also eight v Sassuolo).
At 36 years and 237 days old, meanwhile, Dzeko became the second-oldest player to score a Serie A goal for Inter, after Sinisa Mihajlovic, who did so aged 37 years and 47 days.
Dimarco at the double
Left wing-back Dimarco would not have been considered the most likely Inter man to double up on Wednesday, having found the net just twice in 32 Serie A appearances last season. However, the 24-year-old looked every bit the experienced goalscorer as he produced two composed finishes.
Dimarco is just the second Nerazzurri defender to score a Serie A brace in the last 10 years, after Achraf Hakimi did so on 5 December 2020 – also against Bologna.
Key Opta Facts
– Bologna have conceded more than four Serie A goals for the first time since 18 September 2021, against Inter (1-6); on the other hand, the Nerazzurri have scored at least six goals in a league match for the first time since that same match.
– Inter have equalled their longest ever run of consecutive drawless games in Serie A: 23, established between February 1940 and January 1941.
– Dimarco has scored two goals from direct free-kicks in Serie A (out of five league goals with the Nerazzurri); since the start of last season, only Cristiano Biraghi (three) has scored more among defenders in the competition.
– Calhanoglu has scored a goal and provided an assist in the same Serie A match for the fifth time for Inter. Since he joined the Nerazzurri last season, no player has done so on more occasions in the competition (five also for Luis Muriel).
Inter visit Atalanta for their final Serie A match before the World Cup break on Sunday, while Bologna host Sassuolo one day earlier.