?Antonio Conte was victorious in his first game in charge of Inter as goals from Marcelo Brozovic, Stefano Sensi, Romelu Lukaku and Antonio Candreva gave the Nerazzurri a 4-0 win over Lecce.
Lukaku’s debut began with a barnstorming run through the heart of the visitors’ midfield, though the record-signing saw his wild effort cannon away off a defender. Regardless, the bustling burst forward got the San Siro crowd rocking.
The ?Inter faithful wouldn’t have to wait long for the deadlock to be broken, however, Brozovic bending a wicked shot far beyond the reach of Gabriel in the Lecce goal. Just three minutes later, fellow midfielder Sensi doubled the lead with an angled drive into the far corner.
Play became stretched during the middle third of the contest as both sides went in search of the all-important third of the game. It was Lukaku who grabbed it, the former ?Manchester United striker capitalising after Lautaro Martinez’s fierce effort was spilled by the opposition ‘keeper.
The evening got worse for the top-flight newbies when Diego Farias was shown a straight red card for a vile rake down the back of Nicolo Barella’s leg in the closing stages. Even more salt was rubbed into the Lecce wounds by Candreva, as the wing-back sent a 30-yard blast swerving into the top corner.
Key Talking Point
Hold your horses. This was a bullish, dominant performance from Conte’s side, but remember who the opponents were. It is no slight on the Salentini to say they’ll likely be scrapping it out near the foot of the table and that there will be far tougher tests for Inter in 2019/20.
Nevertheless, a win is a win and there were encouraging signs from some of the summer signings. A handful of pundits have tipped this side to mount a serious challenge for the Scudetto. On the evidence of tonight, you definitely wouldn’t rule it out.
Lukaku showed the sort of power and drive that made him so feared during his time at ?Everton and Sensi appears an astute acquisition after linking play well in the middle of the park. Aside from the standout duo, the entire lineup showed quality and assurance.
It was by no means a faultless showing from the Nerazzurri, yet their supporters can be hopeful going into the new season. Their £74m frontman looks like he has a point to prove and Conte has some exciting talents at his disposal.
Starting XI: Handanovic (6), D’Ambrosio (6), Ranocchia (7), Skriniar (5); Candreva (8), Vecino (6), Brozovic (6), Sensi (8), Asamoah (6); Martinez (5), Lukaku (8*).
Substitutes: Politano (8), Gagliardini (6), Barella (6).
STAR MAN – Romelu Lukaku
Sensi was marvellous in the midfield. On an ordinary day, he would have been the man of the match, but this was no ordinary day.
When a club splashes out the kind of eye-watering sum Inter paid for Lukaku, the new arrival simply has to perform. There’s heavy scrutiny and great expectation; the big man more than coped with both.
At Old Trafford, he was undeservedly labelled as immobile. Just one match into his ?Serie A career, Lukaku has proved all of his doubters wrong.
Several times, the forward charged past Lecce defenders like they weren’t there, nearly collecting a couple of assists for his efforts.
Wow. What a hit from Stefano Sensi. Dream debut. Gets by one defender and then a laser into the bottom corner.
Inter 2-0 Lecce
— Matteo Bonetti (@TheCalcioGuy) August 26, 2019
Romelu Lukaku has now scored on his league debut for each of his last four clubs:
? West Brom
? Man Utd
? Inter Milan
He doesn’t take long to get started. ??? pic.twitter.com/t5ECfySWMe
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 26, 2019
A trip to Cagliari is next on Inter’s agenda, the