Inter Milan began their Serie A title defence with a crushing 4-0 victory over Genoa at San Siro.
Despite a summer full of upheaval, the Nerazzurri eased to three points in Simone Inzaghi’s first match in charge, laying down a marker to their title rivals.
The home side dominated from the get-go, and took the lead through Milan Skriniar after six minutes. He rose tallest to head Hakan Calhanoglu’s corner past Genoa debutant Salvatore Sirigu.
Almost immediately, Genoa saw a golden chance go begging when Yayah Kallon failed to connect with a shot in the area, scuffing it wide.
With 14 minutes gone, Inter doubled their lead, and Calhanoglu added a goal to his assist. He found space 25 yards from goal and rifled an effort into the bottom corner.
Stefano Sensi and Marcelo Brozovic were driving forward at will and the hosts looked rampant, but Kallon squandered another chance when Matteo Darmian was dispossessed and Skriniar slipped in the area. With half time looming, the 20-year-old again failed to get the connection he needed.
Inter thought they had added a third in stoppage time. Ivan Perisic’s powerful finish was disallowed for offside, before VAR confirmed the decision.
Perisic was again called offside early in the second half, cutting short celebrations after Calhanoglu controlled and volleyed his cross into the roof of the net. But Inter continued to control the tempo.
Dzeko forced Sirigu into a superb point-blank save with a header from a corner, before the goalkeeper parried his strike into Nicolo Barella’s path three minutes later. His quick thinking then gave substitute Arturo Vidal a tap-in, making it 3-0.
It took until four minutes from time, but Dzeko finally grabbed his debut goal with a superb header from Vidal’s cross.
TALKING POINT – NO CRISIS HANGOVER FOR IMPERIOUS INTER
Financial issues have marred Inter since they were crowned Serie A champions, with Antonio Conte and Romelu Lukaku both leaving, and the absent Lautaro Martinez rumoured to be joining them. But they didn’t show any signs of lasting damage, with new signings Calhanoglu and Dzeko starring on an evening which saw them prove a rather emphatic point to everybody. They are not going away quietly.
MAN OF THE MATCH – HAKAN CALHANOGLU (INTER)
The Turkish playmaker made a bold choice in crossing the Milan divide this summer, but he got off to a splendid start. His goal was taken brilliantly, as was the second ruled out for offside, but he was the man making things happen in a busy Inter midfield.
Conte’s steeliness remains, but Calhanoglu looks to have added an attacking spark for Inzaghi.
Hakan Calhanoglu of FC Internazionale celebrates after scoring to give the side a 2-0 lead during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale and Genoa CFC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on August 21, 2021 in Milan, Italy
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