AC Milan and new coach Filippo Inzaghi got off to a great start as it eased to a 3-1 win over Lazio in its Serie A opener on Sunday.
Keisuke Honda put the hosts ahead in the seventh minute before Sulley Muntari doubled Milan’s lead before the hour mark. Summer signing Jeremy Menez then made it 3-0 when he earned and converted a penalty in the 64th minute.
Lazio reduced the arrears three minutes later when Milan defender Alex scored into his own goal. The visitors should have made it 3-2 with seconds remaining but Antonio Candreva saw his penalty saved.
Inzaghi, who was promoted from his position in charge of the youth team at the end of last season, could not field latest signing Fernando Torres in his team’s Serie A opener. The Spanish striker, who joined Milan on a two-year loan from Chelsea this weekend, watched from the stands.
Milan, looking to make amends for last season’s disappointing eighth-placed finish, started brightly and went ahead early on. A fast counter-attack saw Stephan El Shaarawy serve Honda inside the area and his right-footed strike beat Lazio goalkeeper Etrit Berisha.
On the half-hour mark, Candreva tried his luck from long distance and his powerful attempt was saved by Milan goalkeeper Diego Lopez. Before the break, Dusan Basta wasted a good opportunity to equalise when he got behind Candreva’s cross only to fire wide of the far post from a good position.
Milan looked more dangerous after the re-start and were rewarded in the 56th minute. Muntari tapped in Ignazio Abate’s cross from the right to beat Berisha.
The hosts made it 3-0 soon after when the referee pointed to the penalty spot after Lazio’s star summer signing Stefan de Vrij brought down Menez inside the area. Menez converted the opportunity, sending Berisha the other way.
Lazio were then handed a lifeline when defender Alex blasted the ball into his own net in an attempt to clear Candreva’s dangerous cross which was directed towards substitute Filip Djordjevic. The capital side pressed forward more aggressively and were awarded a late penalty when Abate pulled down Candreva in the box.
Candreva stepped up to take the kick and struck the ball towards the bottom left corner, only to see his effort cleared by Lopez.
In the afternoon’s other match, Atalanta drew 0-0 at home to Hellas Verona.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.