Serie A

Milan bounces back, defeats Cagliari

WINNING WAYS
Mario Balotelli (R) sealed AC Milan's victory over Cagliari on Sunday night.
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A remarkable debut goal from substitute Adem Ljajic capped an impressive 3-0 victory over Hellas Verona for Roma, who made it two wins from two in the new Serie A season.

Ljajic arrived from Fiorentina as a replacement for Tottenham-bound Erik Lamela this week and announced himself with a sensational strike after Miralem Pjanic had followed up an own goal from Fabrizio Cacciatore.

Verona, whose season began with a shock home win over AC Milan, were second-best throughout and had goalkeeper Rafael to thank for keeping the scoreline respectable.

Arturo Vidal scored twice as champions Juventus cruised to an emphatic 4-1 victory over 10-man Lazio at the Juventus Stadium on Saturday night.

Vidal's brace had the home side 2-0 up after 26 minutes, only for Miroslav Klose to halve the deficit two minutes later.

Mirko Vucinic stretched Juve's lead four minutes into the second half, though, before Hernanes was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence just after the hour mark and Carlos Tevez completed the scoring 10 minutes from time.

Marek Hamsik bagged a brace as Napoli overcame stubborn Chievo 4-2 to register their second win from two games.

Napoli twice took the lead in the first half through Hamsik and Jose Callejon, but were pegged back by Chievo striker Alberto Paloschi on both occasions.

However, they did not look back after Hamsik helped the Partenopei re-take the lead once more and Gonzalo Higuain made sure there was no way back after bagging his first goal in Serie A following his big-money summer move from Real Madrid.

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Mario Balotelli steered AC Milan to their first win of the new Serie A season by setting up two goals and scoring another in an energetic victory over Cagliari.

The Italy striker had scored 12 goals since arriving at San Siro in January but failed to fire in a shock 2-1 defeat at Hellas Verona on the opening weekend of the 2013-14 campaign.

He improved on home turf to engineer goals from Robinho and Philippe Mexes and, after Marco Sau had responded emphatically for the Sardinians, Balotelli made sure to rubber-stamp the three points.

Udinese atoned for a disappointing start to the new season by picking up their first league win at the expense of Parma.

The Bianconeri were beaten to the group stages of the Europa League by Slovan Liberec and lost their Serie A opener to Lazio but goals from Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu and Thomas Heurteaux put them on the right track.

Former Inter Milan striker Antonio Cassano opened his account for winless Parma with time running out but Luis Muriel would guarantee all three points with a penalty two minutes from time.

Guiseppe Rossi and Mario Gomez both scored twice as Fiorentina made it two wins from two Serie A games with a 5-2 victory over Genoa.

Both players added to Alberto Aquilani's opener to give the Viola a 3-0 half-time lead at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

The second half was more evenly matched, with Alberto Gilardino pulling a goal back and winning the penalty from which Francesco Lodi scored Genoa's second.

But Fiorentina restored their three-goal cushion on each occasion, first through Rossi and then through Gomez - also from the spot - after a frantic finale which saw red cards shown to Genoa's Mario Sampirisi and Viola coach Vincenzo Montella.

Atalanta took advantage of some poor finishing from Torino to claim their first win of the Serie A season.

The visitors could have been out of sight by half-time but goalkeeper Andrea Consigli made some good saves to keep them at bay as the forwards also spurned chances.

And they were made to pay for their sloppiness as Guglielmo Stendardo and Stefano Lucchini both scored in the second half to secure the win.

Inter Milan continue to show signs of revival under new coach Walter Mazzarri after cruising to an impressive 3-0 win at Catania.

The Nerazzurri finished a dismal ninth last season but, under the supervision of former Napoli boss Mazzarri, claimed a regulation victory over Genoa on the opening day of the new campaign.

Rodrigo Palacio and Yuto Nagatomo, who both scored last weekend, were on target again at the Stadio Angelo Massimino while Ricky Alvarez cemented a result which would have been off limits to the Inter side of six months ago.

Manolo Gabbiadini celebrated his return to the Italy national team with a goal to ensure Sampdoria claimed their first point of the Serie A season at Bologna.

Gabbiadini, whose only previous cap for the Azzurri came in the friendly encounter with England last August, has been called up Cesare Prandelli's squad for the World Cup qualifying double-header against Bulgaria and the Czech Republic and the 21-year-old came to Samp's rescue on Sunday.

The visitors were narrowly edged out by domestic champions Juventus last week but took the lead at the Renato Dall'Ara through Eder, although Davide Moscardelli's header just before half-time and Panagiotis Kone's second-half effort put Bologna, who were hammered 3-0 on the opening weekend of the season by Napoli, on course for all three points.

But Gabbiadini's wonderful 70th-minute free-kick ensured the points were shared

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