Inter Milan began their Serie A title defense in a positive way on Saturday as the Nerazzurri defeated Genoa 4-0 at the Giuseppe Meazza. New manager, Simone Inzaghi, made his managerial debut after Antonio Conte, mutually agreed to part ways with Inter this past summer. Milan Skriniar, Hakan Calhanoglu, Edin Dzeko, and Arturo Vidal scored for Inter, while Inzaghi was brilliant in his debut.
It was a dominant performance from Inter as they controlled possession and dictated the tempo of the match. It was a much different look to their squad as Achraf Hakimi and Romelu Lukaku were sold this transfer market to Paris Saint Germain and Chelsea, respectively. However, the club has managed to sign some quality players in Dzeko and Calhanoglu, who scored in their debut and delivered impressive performances.
As for Genoa, they struggled throughout the match as they failed to get involved and looked out of sync. Far too often they conceded mistakes that led to a goal or chances created by Inter. Inzaghi had his men prepared as they looked sharp, quick, and focused for most of the match. It was the perfect start to Inter’s season as they aim to defend their title. As for Genoa, it was a difficult start to their season.
So, who were the winners and losers from Inter’s 4-0 win versus Genoa?
Winner: Simone Inzaghi
It was a brilliant managerial debut from Inzaghi as Inter put forth a clinical performance. They looked focused, energetic, and moved the ball very fluidly while Genoa struggled to gain possession and break down Inter’s backend. Inzaghi made numerous bold decisions such as starting Stefano Sensi behind Dzeko and playing Calhanoglu more central in the midfield.
Vidal came on in place of Sensi in the 69th minute and immediately made an impact as he scored five minutes later. In addition, he assisted on Inter’s fourth goal as he made a brilliant pass towards Dzeko inside the Genoa box. Inzaghi made a wise decision to bring him on as he looked confident and energetic.
“I was pretty confident the team would do well, as I’ve seen them working with enthusiasm and hunger since July 8, eager to learn new concepts.”
“We couldn’t have asked for a better start, especially in front of our fans back in the stadium.”
Inzaghi | Source
Although it was a weak Genoa side who didn’t offer much in this match, Inter looked dominant and set for a strong season.
Winner: Edin Dzeko
It was a brilliant debut for Dzeko as he was dominant for most of the match. Arriving late in the transfer market from AS Roma, the forward showed no rust in his game as he created difficulties for Genoa’s backline. He showed good strength, made excellent runs inside the box, and did a great job tracking back towards midfield to assist on defense.
Dzeko scored in his debut and it was well-deserved after the type of performance he delivered for the Nerazzurri. He finished the match with one key pass, two successful dribbles, two clearances and one aerial duel won. At the age of 35, he showed no signs of slowing down and is off to a great start with his new club.
Every player on Genoa was particularly disappointing versus Inter as they failed to show up and looked lackluster for most of the match. Goran Pandev struggled to get involved as he was limited to 38 touches, Stefano Stuararo committed a poor challenge on Nico Barella and Domenico Criscito wasn’t impactful in the backend.
A contributing factor to Genoa’s downfall was that they had many new faces in their lineup and it will take time to develop chemistry. Nonetheless, the overall performance was uninspiring and they should have been more prepared against deep squads such as Inter. Genoa will surely have better days yet this was not one of them.
Loser: Ivan Perisic
Inter were dominant for most of the match yet one player in particular who struggled was Ivan Perisic. On two separate occasions, Inter had a goal called back due to the Croatian being called offside. The second goal was frustrating as the defense played a high line and was in a good position to score. However, Perisic was a few steps ahead of the defense and mistimed his run which led to a goal being called back.
Aside from being in an offside position, his crosses were poor, he failed to create chances and lost possession on a few occasions. Perisic lacked pace in his game as he looked to be a step behind and struggled to beat Genoa’s backline in 1v1 situations. The Croatian was dispossessed twice, called offside twice, and lost control of the ball on one occasion. It was a disappointing start to Persic’s Serie A campaign.