Veteran Walter Samuel struck his first goal of the season to finally get Inter off the mark for 2014 as they beat Sassuolo 1-0.
The 35-year-old defender's strike came just after half-time, when he emphatically headed home from a corner to give goalkeeper Gianluca Pegolo no chance.
That earned a deserved win for Walter Mazzarri's side, who dominated for much of the game and perhaps should have had more than the one goal they scored.
In the end, though, it mattered little as they finally ended a poor run of form that had seen them pick up just two points from their previous five games and not win in any competition since December 22's victory over city rivals Milan.
Sassuolo started with six players signed in January, but the new-look nature of their side was not obvious early on as they pushed their more illustrious opponents back, Jonathan having had to head away a particularly dangerous cross.
Fredy Guarin then had Inter's first effort of note when he unleashed a long-range drive that had Pegolo scrambling to palm away.
Hernanes almost marked his first start with a spectacular goal after he profited from a poor defensive header from Paolo Cannavaro, but the Brazilian's fiercely curling effort whistled just wide of the top corner after 19 minutes.
Sassuolo could have taken the lead when Domenico Berardi’s dangerous free-kick was met by Lorenzo Ariaudo after 24 minutes, but he could not keep his header down.
Berardi was instrumental in Sassuolo's last win - netting four against Milan - and he almost opened the scoring with a 30-yard free kick that was heading for the corner until Samir Handanovic made a superb flying save.
Diego Milito had two great chances for Inter late in the first half. First, Rodrigo Palacio's surging run ended with him setting up his fellow countryman but Pegolo saved with his feet after Ariaudo's desperate block took the sting out of the shot.
An even better chance was passed up when Palacio sprung the offside trap and crossed to Milito, but he took a touch to control, which gave Pegolo time to smother his shot.
Inter did finally take a deserved lead after 47 minutes through the veteran Samuel, whose bullet header flew past Pegolo.
Sassuolo looked beleaguered and Pegolo almost put his team in further trouble when he punched straight to Jonathan, but he lashed wide when well placed.
The impressive Hernanes continued to threaten and his fierce drive was only stopped by the legs of Pegolo as Inter pushed.
The goalkeeper continued to keep his side in touch as he stood firm in the face of sustained pressure, but Sassuolo never looked like springing a surprise on the counter as Inter controlled matters.
|Griezmann happy at Atletico, says Koke|
|Ronaldo will deliver when needed for Madrid – Alonso|
|Rodrigo commits to Valencia until 2022|
|Domestic bliss? Montella targets Serie A resurgence after Europa League success|
|Rooney stands by Unsworth after Everton humiliation|
|He deserved more chances – Hazard hails ´top player´ Salah|
|We have to stay awake all the time - Coutinho frustrated after Sevilla collapse|
|Everton 1 Atalanta 5: Cristante and Cornelius knock more shine off Premier League strugglers|
|AC Milan 5 Austria Wien 1: Andre Silva sends Montella´s men through to the last 32|
|Wasteful Arsenal leave Wenger frustrated|
|McInnes to remain at Aberdeen despite links to Rangers, West Brom|
|Robinho given prison sentence in Italy for 2013 sexual assault|
|Cologne 1 Arsenal 0: Gunners secure top spot despite defeat|
|Silva not giving ´one more word´ on Everton speculation|
|Everton sign Bramley Moore Dock lease|
|UEFA investigating Bayern after fans throw fake money in protest over Champions League prices|
|Robben out of Gladbach clash with ´minor´ calf strain|
|Pochettino pleased to see Rose emotion|
|Mourinho factor makes Man Utd a title threat, says Lampard|
|Chelsea´s best chance of success is Champions League, claims Lampard|
|Robben: It could be over for me after this season|
|Newcastle Jets 4 Melbourne Victory 1: Nabbout at the double|
|Happy Sanchez could win the Premier League for Arsenal, Lauren claims|
|Angered Neymar storms away from Real Madrid questions|
|Bayern played their worst ´for a long time´ - Boateng|
|Neymar form no surprise for Alves|
|Federer congratulates Basel after Man Utd scalp|
|Gremio 1 Lanus 0: Cicero gives Brazilians advantage in Libertadores final|
|Hazard: I admire Madrid, but I´m happy at Chelsea|
|Neuer or De Gea? Digne says Ter Stegen is world´s best keeper|
|Allegri satisfied with draw against ´extraordinary´ Barcelona|
|Nainggolan reaffirms Roma commitment after Simeone praise|
|Simeone hails Griezmann´s ´extraordinary´ volley|
|Emery hails Neymar after stunning Celtic win|
|Championship Review: Wolves thrash 10-man Leeds, Middlesbrough cruise|
|Goncharenko delighted for clean sheet star Akinfeev|
|I hope Barcelona rest Messi – Jesus|
|Thiago suffered a serious injury, says Heynckes|
|Valverde explains decision to bench Messi|
|Iniesta hails ´splendid´ Ter Stegen as Barcelona seal last-16 spot|
|Griezmann shrugs off goalless streak after wonderstrike keeps Atletico´s hopes alive|
|We should have been 5-0 up – Mourinho unimpressed with wasteful United|
|Toure reveals Guardiola anger with City´s Feyenoord display|
|Paris Saint-Germain set Champions League scoring record in Celtic rout|
|Sporting CP 3 Olympiacos 1: Dost on target as hosts stay in contention|
|Bielsa suspended by struggling Lille|
|Anderlecht 1 Bayern Munich 2: Lewandowski and Tolisso give visitors win|
|Atletico Madrid 2 Roma 0: Griezmann returns to form with wondergoal|
|Basel 1 Manchester United 0: Late Lang goal leaves Mourinho´s men with work to do|
|Paris Saint-Germain 7 Celtic 1: Cavani and Neymar score braces in sparkling win|
|Juventus 0 Barcelona 0: Messi benched but Valverde´s men in last 16|
|Conte pleased to take pressure off Atletico clash|
|Success in Europe will help Milan´s league form, Montella claims|
|Bauza sacked by Saudi Arabia|
|Willian: For me, it was a penalty|
|Akinfeev keeps first Champions League clean sheet since November 2006|
|Messi rested by Barcelona side for Juventus clash|
|CSKA Moscow 2 Benfica 0: Goncharenko´s men boost progression hopes|
|Qarabag 0 Chelsea 4: Hazard, Willian lead Blues into last 16|
|If he´s fit, he will go – Wenger backs Welbeck for World Cup call|
|Niasse banned over diving charge after FA rejects Everton appeal|
|Real Madrid´s Carvajal faces UEFA investigation over APOEL booking|
|Everton fined €30,000 over fan trouble against Lyon|
|No change in Everton manager hunt, says Unsworth|
|Chiellini to miss Barcelona match with thigh injury|
|Former Everton and Nigeria striker Yakubu retires|
|Liverpool looking into claims of Seville police assault against fans|
|Toure hails Foden as the ´future´ of Manchester City|
|Record Ronaldo nomination as Real Madrid dominate UEFA Team of the Year candidates|
|Heynckes stay is ´best solution´ for Bayern, says Robben|
|Courtois parks Chelsea contract talks|
|Wigan´s two-goal Colclough makes mad dash to witness birth of son...in full kit!|
|Sevilla boss Berizzo diagnosed with prostate cancer|
|Manchester United move still a possibility for Atletico star Griezmann|
|Carragher slams Liverpool for playing ´like children´ in Sevilla collapse|
|Replacing you might not be a great idea! – Buffon grateful for Rakitic tribute|
|Messi closes on century but Pogba must do more – Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Skoko wants Australian coach as Arnold emerges as Postecoglou replacement|
|Everton yet to make contact with Van Gaal|
|MLS Review: Sounders a step closer to final, Crew and Toronto in stalemate|
|Ben Yedder trolls Liverpool after dramatic Sevilla comeback|
|´World class´ Insigne can´t be rested – Sarri|
|I say one thing and you write something else - Angry Ronaldo brushes off media|
|Griezmann needs support of Atletico and fans – Simeone|
|Monaco paid for mistakes in Champions League exit - Jardim|
|We had to rely on personal pride - Berizzo praises Sevilla´s stunning comeback|
|Championship Review: Coleman loses first Sunderland game, Fulham win nine-goal thriller|
|City fans get first sight of local star they crave in Phil Foden|
|Gunes wants more after historic Besiktas Champions League qualification|
|Allegri plays down Dybala-Messi comparisons|
|Extra rest helped Rose shine in Dortmund – Pochettino|