MILAN (Reuters) - AC Milan and Inter Milan, both determined to put last season’s mediocre efforts behind them, made flying starts to the new campaign on Sunday with easy 3-0 wins.
AC Milan fielded seven new signings in their starting line-up as they won at Crotone, scoring all their goals in the opening half-hour after being helped by a fourth-minute sending- off for the home team.
Mauro Icardi scored twice in the first 15 minutes to lead Inter to a win at home to Fiorentina and give the visitors’ new coach Stefano Pioli, fired by Inter last season, an unhappy return to San Siro.
AS Roma’s new signing Aleksandar Kolarov scored with a crafty free kick which he rolled under the wall to give last season’s runners-up a 1-0 win at Atalanta.
Valter Birsa scored with a spectacular dipping shot from 25 metres as Chievo won 2-1 at Udinese and Sampdoria beat Serie A debutants Benevento 2-1 with two goals from former Juventus, Napoli and Italy forward Fabio Quagliarella.
SPAL, another of the promoted teams, managed to hold out for a goalless draw at Lazio, who were fourth last season.
Milan spent 190 million euros ($223.40 million) on new signings in the close season in an attempt to end several seasons of midtable mediocrity.
They quickly took control when Crotone’s Federico Ceccherini brought down Patrick Cutrone and was sent off in the fourth minute after the referee consulted the VAR.
Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie, making his debut on loan from Atalanta, converted the penalty.
The inspired Cutrone, 19, who turned professional with Milan last season, headed the second goal in the 18th minute and set up the third for Suso to drive in from 12 metres five minutes later.
Inter’s new coach Luciano Spalletti saw his team quickly take control against a shell-shocked Fiorentina.
Inter captain Icardi was bundled over by Davide Astori and converted the penalty himself in the sixth minute, then beat two Fiorentina defenders to Ivan Perisic’s cross to head the second goal on the quarter hour.
Fiorentina’s new striker Giovanni Simeone gave Inter’s defence some difficult moments and had a penalty appeal turned down after the referee consulted the VAR.
But the hosts completed their win with 11 minutes left when Perisic met Joao Mario’s cross with a diving header after more sloppy marking from Fiorentina.
($1 = 0.8505 euros)
Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Clare Fallon