MILAN - Samuel Eto'o scored from the spot on his Serie A debut at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza as Inter's quest to win a fifth straight league title began with a 1-1 draw against newly promoted Bari.
The Cameroon striker, who netted in his competitive debut for the Nerazzurri against Lazio in the Super Cup earlier this month, tucked home his spot kick early in the second half after a foul on his strike partner Diego Milito.
But Bari, back in the top flight after an eight-year absence, equalised eighteen minutes later through Belarusian international Vitali Kutuzov.
There were few surprises in José Mourinho's starting lineup, with Eto'o and Milito making their Serie A debuts for Inter up front, Thiago Motta his in a diamond midfield with Vieira in the holding role, and Lucio his alongside Materazzi at the centre of defence.
Serie A new boys Bari, without the injured Barreto and the disqualified Meggiorini, relied on Kutuzov and Sforzini to spearhead their attack.
The new-look Inter gave an early sign of their attacking potential when Eto'o's fierce shot forced a difficult parry from Gillet after a one-two with Milito. The Argentine striker should have scored inside the half-hour when he met Vieira's inch-perfect pass over the Bari defence, but he hooked over the bar.
Two chances in thirty minutes were too few for José Mourinho. On came Mario Balotelli for Sulley Muntari and Inter switched from 4-4-2 to 4-3-3 with Milito in the centre-forward role.
Inter were immediately more effective in attack, with Maicon going close from Stankovic's pull-back and Milito almost scoring when his cross from the by-line took a deflection off Bonucci.
Balotelli missed by an inch with a low free kick that Milito just failed to divert beyond Gillet, and Thiago Motta blazed a low effort narrowly wide after a pass from Eto'o.
Bari could have taken the lead in added time at the end of the first half but Kutuzov, through on goal with just Julio Cesar to beat, lost control of the ball.
Mourinho made his second substitution at the break, bringing on Quaresma for Vieira as his team went from 4-3-3 to 4-2-4.
Bari were pinned back in their own half and Balotelli drove wide after collecting a short pass from Eto'o, who was well served on the right by Thiago Motta.
The breakthrough came when Milito was fouled in the box by Cockerels defender Bonucci, with Eto'o sending Gillet the wrong way with his resulting spot kick.
The Inter number nine wasted a gilt-edged chance to increase our lead after receiving a short pass from Milito, firing wide a low shot when totally unmarked in the area.
Kutuzov made amends for his error before the break with Bari's equaliser on 74 minutes, slotting beyond Julio Cesar after collecting Langella's cross from the right.
The visitors had two late chances to snatch all three points, with Langella sending a low shot just wide before Rivas blazed over the bar when it would have been easier to pass to the unmarked Alvarez to his left.
Inter 1-1 Bari (HT: 0-0)
Scorers: Eto'o (pen) 56, Kutuzov 74.
Inter: 12 Julio Cesar; 13 Maicon, 6 Lucio, 23 Materazzi (2 Cordoba 61), 4 Zanetti; 11 Muntari (45 Balotelli 29), 14 Vieira (7 Quaresma 46), 8 Thiago Motta; 5 Stankovic; 22 Milito, 9 Eto'o.
Subs not used: 1 Toldo, 26 Chivu, 30 Mancini, 39 Santon.
Coach: José Mourinho.
Bari: 1 Gillet; 5 A.Masiello, 13 Ranocchia, 19 Bonucci, 21 Parisi; 90 Alvarez, 9 De Vezze, 14 Gazzi (27 Stellini 90+4), 30 Allegretti (23 Langella 57); 99 Sforzini (7 Rivas 60), 20 Kutuzov.
Subs not used: 25 Padelli, 4 Carobbio, 17 S.Masiello, 18 Greco.
Coach: Giampiero Ventura.
Referee: Carmine Russo (Nola).
Booked: Vieira 25, Materazzi 42, Langella 61, A.Masiello 71, Stankovic 90+1.