Filippo Inzaghi got his tenure as AC Milan coach off to the best possible start with a scintillating 3-1 victory over SS Lazio at the San Siro on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Nemanja Vidic was sent-off on his debut for Inter in their 0-0 draw at Torino.
New Rossoneri signing Fernando Torres was in the stands alongside president Silvio Berlusconi, to watch goals from Keisuke Honda, Sulley Muntari and a Jeremy Menez penalty give Inzaghi’s men three well-earned points.
Initially, Milan looked nervous in defense, with Lazio keen to exploit centerback Daniele Bonera, who had lined up in the leftback position, but it was not long before any trepidation was extinguished, as Milan opened the scoring after just seven minutes.
Stephan El Shaarawy latched on to a hopeful long ball on the left, rode the challenge of Stefan de Vrij, before sliding the ball to the in-rushing Honda on the right, who put it through the legs of Etrit Berisha.
In an opening period with little in the way of goalmouth action, Lazio’s only meaningful chance came midway through the half as Miroslav Klose got in behind the Milan defense down the right, but his cross deflected off Cristian Zapata, only to be easily gathered by goalkeeper Diego Lopez.
Ten minutes after the restart, Milan doubled their advantage against the run of play.
A simple cross from Ignazio Abate on the right, bounced in the 6m area, inviting the unmarked Muntari to poke it home.
Then, just after the hour mark, De Vrij brought down Menez in the area with the slightest of touches and the Frenchman stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick and fired low into the goalkeeper’s right-hand corner.
However, Lazio immediately pulled one back as Filip Djordjevic’s near-post flick was deflected in at his near left-hand post by Alex.
Lazio’s perseverance earned a penalty in time added on after Antonio Candreva was fouled, but Lopez got down low to his right and palmed the midfielder’s spot-kick away.
Meanwhile, Vidic was having a nightmare in Turin.
He gave away a penalty midway through the first half after pulling down Omar El Kaddouri, but Samir Handanovic saved Marcelo Larrondo’s resulting spot-kick.
Nevertheless, Vidic’s debut disaster was compounded as he received a 90th minute red card.
Rafael Benitez’s SSC Napoli left it late to earn a 2-1 win against Genoa, as they looked to bounce back from their midweek Champions League exit at the hands of Athletic Bilbao.
US Sassuolo’s Simone Zaza scored a Marco van Basten-esque volley against Cagliari as the two sides played out an exciting 1-1 draw. Marco Sau netted for the Sardinians.
Elsewhere, an Antonio Di Natale double helped Udinese to a 2-0 win over Empoli, US Citta di Palermo drew 1-1 with 10-man UC Sampdoria, while newly promoted AC Cesena overcame Parma 1-0.
In Bergamo, Atalanta BC were held to a 0-0 draw by Hellas Verona in what was an utterly dull affair.