Radja Nainggolan scored on his Inter debut, then Ivan Perisic netted one and set up another in a 3-0 victory over Bologna.
These sides started with very different ambitions, yet both had just one point from two rounds. Luciano Spalletti could give Radja Nainggolan his debut after a pre-season injury, but Mauro Icardi, Lautaro Martinez and Sime Vrsaljko were all carrying muscular issues, so Keita Balde Diao was thrown in for a 4-2-3-1 system. The hosts missed Rodrigo Palacio, Neuhen Paz, Angelo Da Costa and Godfred Donsah.
Inter are now unbeaten against Bologna since a 1-0 result at San Siro in March 2013, managing five wins and as many Serie A draws. The last defeat at the Dall’Ara was all the way back in February 2002, emerging with 10 wins and three stalemates.
Lukasz Skorupski completely misjudged an early cross, allowing Ivan Perisic to nod on to the side-netting, while Roberto Gagliardini also blasted over from a promising position.
Yet Samir Handanovic was called into action on Bologna’s first corner, batting a Filip Helander header off the line at the back post.
Keita mistimed his scissor-kick volley following a Helander error and Nainggolan had timid penalty appeals after a coming together with Sebastian De Maio’s trailing arm.
Handanovic had to smother at Diego Falcinelli’s feet after Kwadwo Asamoah was caught in possession, while Keita was more effective when drifting out wide on the left.
Nainggolan hit a scorching half-volley from the edge of the area that flew just over the bar with the last kick of the first half.
Keita ran on to a Gagliardini through ball to test Skorupski from a tight angle and a period of pressure eventually paid off for Inter.
Politano’s through ball found Nainggolan, who controlled with his left foot and then blasted in with the inside of his right from 12 yards into the far bottom corner. It was the ideal debut for the ex-Roma man in a more advanced role than he was accustomed to under Eusebio Di Francesco.
Federico Santander was so close to an equaliser for Bologna, his glancing header on a Federico Mattiello cross from the right skimming the far post with Handanovic beaten.
At the other end, Keita prodded over from eight yards after poor defending on a Perisic pull-back, but substitute Antonio Candreva secured the points when he ran through the middle to meet a smart Perisic assist at the end of a good Inter passing move. Incredibly, it was the Italy international’s first Serie A goal since April 15 2017 against Milan, a gap of 504 days.
Moments later, Perisic made it 3-0 himself, cutting inside to dummy Mattiello and curling into the far top corner instead.
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk