Diego Milito bagged a brace on his comeback as Inter utterly humiliated sorry Sassuolo 7-0.
The Nerazzurri visited Serie A newcomers Sassuolo at the Mapei Stadium, who were still looking for their first point of the campaign. Emanuele Terranova was ruled out for six months with a knee injury, joining Carl Valeri, Luca Marrone, Gomes and the suspended Domenico Berardi in the stands. Cristian Chivu and Javier Zanetti were still sidelined, so Saphir Taider and Ricky Alvarez supported Rodrigo Palacio.
Ezequiel Schelotto had to face his parent club, having joined Sassuolo on loan after Walter Mazzarri froze him out this summer.
It took just seven minutes for Inter to take the lead after dominating the early stages, as Yuto Nagatomo burst forward down the left and rolled the ball across for Palacio to tap in unmarked. It was La Trenza’s third goal in four games this season, his 50th overall in Serie A.
Matters got worse for Sassuolo, as Marcello Gazzola limped off to make way for Raffaele Pucino.
Taider’s free kick curled just wide, while Reto Ziegler threw himself at a Jonathan strike to block. Antonio Floro Flores nodded over the bar in a rare Sassuolo opportunity on 19 minutes, then got himself booked for simulation.
Inter doubled their advantage with Taider’s first goal for the club. Alberto Pomini did well to beat away a Palacio snapshot, but the French-Algerian midfielder pounced on the loose ball.
Floro Flores again didn’t get enough power on an effort straight at Samir Handanovic, but the Sassuolo defence confirmed its status as the worst in Serie A this season.
Pucino, who had only come off the bench for the injured Gazzola, was under pressure from Taider and nodded a Fredy Guarin cross into his own net. It was not a good way to mark his Serie A debut.
Pomini used his legs to parry a Jonathan effort at the near post and Coach Eusebio Di Francesco ran to Plan B, introducing Simone Zaza for Chibsah. It almost worked, as Floro Flores flashed an angled drive inches past the post on a Zaza assist and the ex-Lazio player also tested Handanovic with a low drive.
Alvarez flashed a shot across the face of goal and Sassuolo threatened with Simone Missiroli just unable to tap in a Schelotto cross from the right.
However, Inter added a fourth on the counter-attack. Pomini got a hand to Palacio’s angled drive and Alvarez was there to tap in the rebound.
There was even more reason to celebrate for the Nerazzurri, as Diego Milito made his comeback seven months after snapping knee ligaments against Cluj. He almost scored within a minute of coming on, bursting between the centre-backs and placing an angled drive across the face of goal.
Zaza’s header forced a genuine save from Handanovic for perhaps the first time in the game, then Floro Florez nodded wide from an excellent position on Francesco Acerbi’s pass.
Milito made the perfect comeback with a tap-in from six yards at the near post after Alvarez turned Paolo Bianco inside out. There was a tear in Il Principe’s eye as he marked the end of that potentially career-ending spell on the sidelines.
Esteban Cambiasso got in on the party too with a wonderful first-time curler into the far top corner from the D. It was his first goal in 20 games.
To make matters worse, Floro Flores limped off with a calf injury, so Sassuolo were left with 10 men for the last 15 minutes.
Inter showed no pity, as Guarin surged forward and rolled across for Milito to sweep home from five yards.