Çalhanoğlu stars as Inter beats Genoa 4-0 in Serie A opener
Çalhanoğlu, who joined from city rival AC Milan on a free transfer, set up Milan Skriniar’s early opener and doubled Inter’s tally in the 14th minute. Arturo Vidal effectively sealed the victory in the 74th before Edin Dzeko opened his Inter account in the final minutes.
Inter also hit the crossbar and had a goal ruled out as the Nerazzurri showed that critics might have been too quick to write off their chances of retaining the title after a summer of change at the Serie A champion.
Inter won its first title since 2010 last season _ ending Juventus’ nine-year grip on the title _ but shortly after Antonio Conte left and the club had to sell two of its top players in Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi.
Simone Inzaghi replaced Conte as coach and steered his new side to victory in his first game in charge. Inazghi’s replacement at Lazio, Maurizio Sarri, will be looking to do the same at newly promoted Empoli later. Atalanta travels to Torino.
It took Inter just six minutes to enjoy its first league goal of the season as Çalhanoğlu floated in a corner from the right for Skriniar to head into the far side of the net.
Çalhanoğlu got on the scoresheet himself eight minutes later as he played a one-two with fellow new signing Dzeko before curling into the bottom right corner from more than 20 yards out.
Dzeko hit the crossbar in the 24th and Ivan Perisic had a goal ruled out for offside in first-half stoppage time.
Inter pressed hard for the third and eventually got it with 16 minutes remaining. Genoa goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu could only parry Dzeko’s effort and Nicolo Barella flicked on the rebound for Vidal to sweep in from close range.
Dzeko, who joined from Roma recently, finally got his goal with three minutes remaining as he headed in a ball from Vidal.
Sassuolo won 3-2 at 10-man Hellas Verona, which almost managed an extraordinary comeback.
Giacomo Raspadori fired Sassuolo in front in the 32nd and Verona’s chances of getting back into the match diminished when captain Miguel Veloso was sent off on the stroke of halftime following a second yellow card.
Filip Duricic doubled Sassuolo’s lead early in the second half and, although Mattia Zaccagni pulled one back for Verona in the 71st from the penalty spot, it appeared all but over when Hamed Junior Traore restored the visitors’ two-goal advantage six minutes later.
However, Zaccagni scored again in the last minute to set up a tense finale.