Inter edges Genoa in 5-4 thriller
Inter Milan beat Genoa 5-4 in a nine-goal thriller at the San Siro as new coach Andrea Stramaccioni made an emphatic start to life in charge of the Nerazzurri.
Diego Milito scored a hat-trick for Inter in a game which included four penalties and two red cards.
Walter Samuel gave Inter a three-goal lead after Milito’s early brace before Emiliano Moretti pulled a goal back and Rodrigo Palacio scored with Genoa’s first of three penalties.
Mauro Zarate restored a two-goal lead for Inter before Julio Cesar was the first to head for an early bath after conceding a penalty, which was scored by Alberto Gilardino.
Fernando Belluschi was then sent off with Milito completing his hat-trick from the spot before the last penalty and the last goal of the game from Gilardino completed the scoring.
Inter took the lead in the 13th minute when Diego Forlan lifted a cross from the left into the middle for Milito to head in.
The former Genoa striker appeared to raise his hands by means of apology to his former club, not celebrating his goal.
He did not celebrate his and Inter’s second goal in the 27th minute either as he again showed his goalscoring instincts with a composed finish after beating the offside trap to slide the ball past Sebastien Frey.
The third Inter goal was made and scored by their two central defenders with Lucio crossing on the volley for Samuel to slide in and beat Frey from close range.
Genoa grabbed a lifeline in the second minute of first-half stoppage time, though, when Sculli’s header was cleared off the line and the Genoa forward tried again with an overhead kick which was going wide of the post until it was deflected in by Moretti.
The first of four penalties was awarded in the 59th minute when Sculli’s shot struck the arm of Javier Zanetti and Palacio converted from the spot.
Zarate settled Inter’s nerves a little in the 74th minute when he cut in from the left and curled his right-footed shot into the far corner of Frey’s goal.
But Genoa were awarded another lifeline when Julio Cesar felled Palacio as he took the ball past him and the second penalty was given with the Inter goalkeeper sent off.
Former Sampdoria goalkeeper Luca Castellazzi came on for Zarate but he could not prevent Gilardino from scoring from the spot.
Inter were also given a penalty in the 85th minute when Belluschi fouled Guarin from behind, also earning a red card.
Milito completed his hat-trick from the spot, again not celebrating.
There was time for another penalty when Lucio was adjudged to have fouled Sculli inside the area and Gilardino grabbed his second goal from the spot.