Inter Milan got their title defense off to the perfect start on Saturday on Paramount+ by bashing Genoa 4-0 on Serie A's Matchday 1. Despite losing two critical players during the transfer window in Romelu Lukaku (to Chelsea) and Achraf Hakimi (to Paris Saint-Germain), the team did not miss a step under new coach Simone Inzaghi and looked like a title contender in their first 90 minutes, scoring twice in each half.
Hakan Calhanoglu and Edin Dzeko both scored on their debuts as the hosts had next to no trouble with the undermanned visitors. Inter took the lead just six minutes in thanks to Milan Skriniar's thumping header goal from a corner kick that was assisted by Calhanoglu, before the Turkish midfielder made it 2-0 less than 10 minutes later with this glorious hit:
Two late goals by Arturo Vidal and Dzeko doubled the scoreline in a match where Inzaghi's team had over 60 percent possession and completed over 90 percent of their passes in front of a loud Giuseppe Meazza.
With so many questions surrounding Inter during a time of financial difficulty that has resulted in to having to sell players, Inzaghi will be pleased with his team's first display, building momentum ahead of Friday's match against Verona.
Sharp Sassuolo dominate, but still have defensive woes
Sassuolo scored once in the first half and twice in the second to take down Verona 3-2 on Saturday on Matchday 1. Giacomo Raspadori, Filip Duricic and Hamed Traore scored the winning goals as the visitors were able to pour it on following Miguel Veloso's first-half red card for the hosts before needing to hold on late.
The victors were quick and confident getting forward passing their way through Verona to create a total of 18 shots on the night.
Francesco Caputo stole the show with his absolutely filthy assist to Duricic. Take a look:
While Sassuolo will be thrilled with the three points, the defensive issues appear to remain after finishing strong at the end of last season. Sassuolo had only giving up multiple goals in a game once since early April but let one of Italy's worse attacks on paper score twice on opening day. Sassuolo will try to correct those defensive woes against Sampdoria next Sunday.
Lazio, Atalanta earn impressive road wins
In what could be a wide open title race, Lazio and Atalanta both started off their seasons on the right foot with quality road victories, with both facing adversity. In Maurizio Sarri's first game in charge of Lazio, the capital club found themselves down just four minutes in but proceeded to score three times in the first half to blow away Empoli, 3-1. It was a typical Sarri-style match with Lazio winning the battle of possession and showing patience in attack, with this strike from Manuel Lazzari being the winning goal:
As for Atalanta, Luis Muriel's early opener was canceled out late by Andrea Belotti, but Roberto Piccolo scored in the third minute of added time to rescue all three points in a match where the victors were outshot 21-7.
Serie A action will continue on Sunday, highlighted by Udinese vs. Juventus at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Serie A scores, results, schedule
Saturday, Aug. 21
- Inter Milan 4, Genoa 0
- Hellas Verona 2, Sassuolo 3
- Empoli 1, Lazio 3
- Torino 1, Atalanta 2
Sunday, Aug. 22
- Bologna vs. Salernitana, 12:30 p.m. ET (Paramount+)
- Udinese vs. Juventus, 12:30 p.m. ET (Paramount+/CBS Sports Network)
- Napoli vs. Venezia, 2:45 p.m. ET (Paramount+)
- Roma vs. Fiorentina, 2:45 p.m. ET (Paramount+)