Promoted UC Sampdoria consigned AC Milan to a shock 1-0 defeat at the San Siro on Sunday, Andrea Costa scoring the winner in the second half to give Milan the worst possible start after a traumatic close-season.
AC Milan, Serie A runners-up last season, had the spine ripped out of their squad over the summer, with superstars Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic sold to Paris Saint-Germain and a glut of long-serving players moving on.
Sampdoria, who start the new campaign with a one-point deduction due to the Calcioscommesse betting scandal, were able to celebrate their first goal at the San Siro in Milan since the 2007-2008 season.
It came in the 59th minute, when leftback Costa rose high above the home defense to head in a corner from the right.
That stirred the hosts into action, with Mario Yepes and Kevin-Prince Boateng hitting the woodwork, but Ciro Ferrara’s men held on to take the points, although there was a stoppage-time scare when Sampdoria’s Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Romero had to be at his best to repel Boateng’s header.
Sampdoria were the worthy winners, though, and they could have even taken a first-half lead via lone Brazilian striker Eder.
Later, Inter showed their city rivals how it should be done with a 3-0 win at another promoted side, Delfino Pescara 1936.
Netherlands international Wesley Sneijder opened the scoring against the run of play in the 17th minute after a free-flowing move, sweeping the ball home from the edge of the box.
Two minutes later, Sneijder found new signing Antonio Cassano, formerly of Milan, who slid the ball over to Diego Milito, who converted from close range.
The hosts had an eye-catching opportunity to reduce the deficit just before the break, but Emmanuel Cascione’s header was kept out by the lightning reflexes of Inter goalkeeper Luca Castellazzi.
Milito then set up Inter’s third nine minutes from time when he slid the ball into the penalty area from the right for Philippe Coutinho to slot home.
Inter sit top of the fledgling table alongside SSC Napoli, who came away from their trip to US Citta di Palermo with a 3-0 win, courtesy of goals from Marek Hamsik, Christian Maggio and Edinson Cavani.
Elsewhere, AC Chievo Verona beat Bologna 2-0, while Genoa saw off visitors Cagliari by the same scoreline.
A stoppage-time strike by Uruguayan forward Nicolas Lopez earned AS Roma a 2-2 draw with Catania, while SS Lazio beat Atalanta BC 1-0 and the game between AC Siena and Torino ended in a goalless stalemate.