AC Milan got off to a great start under new coach Filippo Inzaghi as they eased to a 3-1 win over Lazio in their Serie A opener on Sunday.
It was a convincing performance from Milan, who showed how little they missed star striker Mario Balotelli, who moved to Liverpool last week. Balotelli’s replacement, Fernando Torres, was watching in the stands at San Siro after completing his two-year loan move from Chelsea.
Inter Milan’s new signing Nemanja Vidic had a less than impressive Serie A debut as he gave away a penalty and was sent off in stoppage time in his side’s 0-0 draw at Torino.
Jonathan de Guzman had a better debut as his last-gasp goal saw Napoli snatch a late 2-1 win at Genoa, while 10-man Sampdoria also scored late to draw 1-1 against newly promoted-Palermo.
Andrea Stramaccioni got off to a winning start at Udinese with a 2-0 win over promoted side Empoli, with veteran striker Antonio Di Natale scoring twice, while new Cagliari coach Zdenek Zeman drew 1-1 at Sassuolo. Elsewhere it was Atalanta 0, Hellas Verona 0; and Cesena 1, Parma 0.
It was Inzaghi’s debut as first team coach after he was promoted from the club’s youth sector, replacing Clarence Seedorf. The 41-year-old had the perfect start as Milan took the lead with less than seven minutes on the clock.
Stephan El Shaarawy burst down the left flank with a brilliant run before putting a delightful ball into the area for an unmarked Honda to slot past Lazio goalkeeper Etrit Berisha.
More poor Lazio defending allowed Milan to double their lead in the 56th minute. There were four Lazio defenders surrounding Muntari in the box, but they all failed to pick him up as he volleyed home Ignazio Abate’s cross. Milan extended their advantage shortly after the hour mark when Menez was brought down by Stefan de Vrij.
Menez, who had been signed from Paris Saint-Germain in the offseason, notched a debut goal with a perfectly placed penalty into the bottom left corner.
Lazio got one back minutes later in chaotic circumstances as Alex got the final touch on Candreva’s cross toward Filip Djordjevic. It almost grabbed another consolation deep into stoppage time when Candreva was brought down by Abate, but Lopez saved the resulting penalty.