30.08.08 / 22:34
GENOA - Inter opened their defence of the Serie A title with a 1-1 draw against Sampdoria at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic broke the deadlock on 33 minutes, chesting down Mancini's ball over the defence and firing past Mirante after a buildup involving Sulley Muntari.
Gennaro Delvecchio brought the teams level and ensured his side a share of the points 23 minutes after the restart, pouncing on a loose ball and converting from close range after Maicon beat Franceschini to Stankevicius' cross.
For his debut Serie A fixture in charge of Inter, José Mourinho played Figo, Ibrahimovic and Mancini in attack, with Stankovic flanked by Zanetti and Muntari in midfield.
Cambiasso partnered Materazzi in the centre of defence, with Brazilians Maicon and Maxwell in their usual full-back roles and Julio Cesar between the sticks.
Samp proved stiff opposition on day one of the championship and Cassano went close from Palombo's pass after Ibrahimovic was thwarted in the opening minute.
Walter Mazzarri's men kept the Inter defence busy in the early stages with Delvecchio twice heading wide before Ibrahimovic had a backheeled effort saved.
Captain Palombo led by example and had shots parried by Julio Cesar but Inter broke the deadlock just past the half-hour through Ibrahimovic.
Inter made a solid start to the second period and Muntari forced a difficult save from Mirante with a blistering 25-yard drive.
The Samp keeper then saved from Stankovic and Ibrahimovic volleyed wide on the turn before the hosts stepped up a gear, prompting Mourinho to introduce Balotelli for Mancini.
Franceschini and Cassano fired wide before Delvecchio netted from close range to capitalise on a period of Samp pressure.
The hosts almost grabbed a quick second but Materazzi did well to dispossess the goalbound Cassano.
With time running out Mourinho made a double switch, bringing on Jimenez and Crespo for Muntari and Figo.
But Samp continued to press and Palombo almost capped an outstanding performance with a thunderous shot from distance, forcing Julio Cesar into splendid reflex save.
Inter could have snatched a late winner but Jimenez' header from Ibrahimovic's cross finished narrowly over.
Sampdoria 1-1 Inter (HT: 0-1)
Scorers: Ibrahimovic 33, Delvecchio 68.
Sampdoria: 83 Mirante; 16 Campagnaro (6 Lucchini 79), 28 Gastaldello, 5 Accardi; 23 Stankevicius (20 Padalino 57), 21 Sammarco, 17 Palombo, 19 Franceschini, 46 Pieri; 40 Delvecchio (88 Dessena 86); 99 Cassano.
Subs not used: 90 Fiorillo, 3 Ziegler, 9 Fornaroli, 14 Bottinelli.
Coach: Walter Mazzarri.
Inter: 12 Julio Cesar; 13 Maicon, 19 Cambiasso, 23 Materazzi, 6 Maxwell; 4 Zanetti, 5 Stankovic, 20 Muntari (11 Jimenez 72); 7 Figo (18 Crespo 72), 8 Ibrahimovic, 33 Mancini (45 Balotelli 64).
Subs not used: 1 Toldo, 2 Cordoba, 9 Cruz, 15 Dacourt.
Coach: José Mourinho.
Referee: Roberto Rosetti (Turin).
Booked: Muntari 16, Figo 52, Franceschini 58, Padalino 76.