The new-look Inter got off to a great start, beating a revolutionised Fiorentina 3-0 with an early Mauro Icardi brace and Ivan Perisic.
It was a strange Week 1 reunion at San Siro for Stefano Pioli, Borja Valero and Matias Vecino so soon after leaving their clubs. Luciano Spalletti earned a lot of credit with pre-season victories, but was still trying to settle new players, including Dalbert and Milan Skriniar. Fiorentina completely transformed the squad this summer and started some who had only arrived within days, including Giovanni Simeone, Valentin Eysseric and Gil Dias. Federico Chiesa was suspended and Riccardo Saponara injured.
These sides last shared the spoils in a 0-0 draw in Florence in April 2012, followed by four Inter victories and six for the Viola. The last stalemate at San Siro was 2-2 in November 1996.
Last season there were 15 goals in their two Serie A showdowns. Fiorentina lost 2-4 away, but won the home match 5-4.
Within six minutes, new Viola captain Davide Astori had bundled into the back of Mauro Icardi for a penalty and the Argentine converted it himself.
Icardi doubled his tally and the Nerazzurri’s lead by steering his header into the far top corner from an unusual Ivan Perisic cross from the right.
Fiorentina finally came out of their shells and had a genuine chance on 25 minutes, debutant Giovanni Simeone’s header at the back post on a Valentin Eysseric cross palmed away by Samir Handanovic.
Perisic tried to set up Icardi for a hat-trick when he probably should’ve gone for goal himself. Simeone had penalty appeals just before half-time, but after VAR consultation it was decided he had simply crossed paths accidentally with Joao Miranda.
Marco Sportiello palmed away an Icardi volley from Antonio Candreva’s cross, but the Viola seemed more confident after the break and Danilo D’Ambrosio deflected a Sebastian Cristoforo assist off Simeone’s foot.
Perisic drilled just wide after great work from substitute Joao Mario, but Handanovic had to be alert on Khouma Babacar at the other end, getting his fingertips to a low drive.
Roberto Gagliardini should’ve done better on a generous Icardi assist, but slipped and ballooned over. Inter were looking complacent and Jordan Veretout almost punished them for it, his impressive curler thumping the post.
It woke them up, as moments later Perisic scored for 3-0, his diving header on a Joao Mario cross, but absolutely shocking marking from Nenad Tomovic.
Sportiello denied Icardi a hat-trick as Candreva pulled back from the by-line for his right-foot strike.
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