Inter make a great start to their Serie A campaign
Team— Aug 19th 2023
A Lautaro brace seals a 2-0 win over Monza at San Siro
Back together at home for the first time in 84 days. Back looking at each other's faces. Back celebrating. Nothing has changed. Love, warmth, passion, energy: Inter's season began with two goals, three points, many new faces, a few old acquaintances, hugs, a brace from the captain and magnificent support from the fans, who once again lit up San Siro. Monza were beaten 2-0, with Lautaro finding the net in each half. A night we'd been waiting for, a night that saw six players make their competitive debuts (Sommer, Thuram, Carlos Augusto, Cuadrado, Frattesi, Bisseck) and Arnautovic play his first Nerazzurri match since Inter vs. Atalanta in 2010, 4,865 days ago. There was a lot of good football on display despite the warm conditions. It was an Inter side we've become used to seeing under Coach Inzaghi, one which attacks with many men, which creates plenty of chances, which entertains. A really good Nerazzurri display, a really good start.
Two new faces were in the starting line-up selected by the Coach: Sommer in goal and Thuram with the number 9 on his back. There were familiar faces in the opposition ranks, too, with D'Ambrosio and Gagliardini warmly embraced by San Siro before kick-off. Not forgetting Valentin Carboni, either, who came on in the latter stages. Inter wanted one thing: three points to kick off their Serie A campaign in the best way possible. There was a minute's silence to remember Carlo Mazzone, who had passed away earlier on in the day, and then the ball started to roll. And it didn't stop, because Inter immediately put their foot on the accelerator. Dumfries was particularly impressive in the first half, with the Dutchman providing the first assist of the season as early as the eighth minute. Barella's touch to find Denzel was perfect, as was Lautaro's run to get on the end of the cross and his finish to give Inter the lead.
Sommer wasn't forced into any notable stops, with the Nerazzurri managing their advantage extremely well. Lautaro was in inspired form, Dimarco's left foot threatened Monza and Di Gregorio on several occasions. The applause kept on coming from the stands as Inter pressed high, won the ball back and caused their opponents all sorts of problems.
In the stifling heat, an energetic display turned into a controlled performance after the restart. Monza tried to get at Inzaghi's men, who were grateful to Calhanoglu for producing a brilliant sliding challenge to prevent Kiriakopoulos from levelling the match. The team needed to remain focused. Inzaghi made his first changes midway through the half, sending on Carlos Augusto and Cuadrado for their competitive debuts and Arnautovic for his first match since his return (he made three appearances in 2009/10). The Austrian made a big impact, too, as he progressed down the left and sent a ball to the far post for Lautaro, who slid in to make it 2-0.
It was the goal that killed off any hopes of a fightback for Monza, who were overwhelmed by the energy that Inter's newest players brought to the pitch. Frattesi and Bisseck entered the fray for the closing stages, as did Carlos Augusto, who had two good opportunities in front of goal. Arnautovic, meanwhile, enthused the home crowd with some brilliant touches. It was all brilliant, in fact, as Inter started the 2023/24 season with an excellent victory.
INTER 2-0 MONZA
Goalscorer: 8' and 76' Lautaro (I)
INTER (3-5-2): 1 Sommer; 36 Darmian (31 Bisseck 84'), 6 De Vrij, 95 Bastoni; 2 Dumfries (7 Cuadrado 62'), 23 Barella, 20 Calhanoglu, 22 Mkhitaryan, 32 Dimarco (30 Carlos Augusto 62'); 9 Thuram (8 Arnautovic 62'), 10 Lautaro (16 Frattesi 80'). Substitutes: 12 Di Gennaro, 77 Audero, 5 Sensi,11 Correa, 21 Asllani, 44 Stabile, 50 A. Stankovic. Coach: Simone Inzaghi.
MONZA (3-4-2-1): 16 Di Gregorio; 33 D'Ambrosio (13 Pedro Pereira 71'), 22 Pablo Mari, 5 Caldirola; 84 Ciurria, 6 Gagliardini (7 Machin 71'), 32 Pessina, 77 Kyriakoupoulos (21 V. Carboni 86'); 28 Colpani (19 Birindelli 61'), 10 Caprari; 24 Maric (47 Mota Carvalho 61'). Substitutes: 23 Sorrentino, 66 Gori, 11 F. Carboni, 37 Petagna, 38 Bondo, 44 A. Carboni, 46 Cittadini, 80 Vignato. Coach: Raffaele Palladino.
Booked: Lautaro (I), Caldirola (M) Added time: 3' - 6'
Referee: Colombo. Assistants: Baccini, Capaldo. Fourth official: Mariani. VAR: Nasca. VAR assistant: Paterna.
SERIE A 2023/24, MATCHDAY ONE
Saturday 19 August Empoli 0-1 Hellas Verona Frosinone 1-3 Napoli Genoa 1-4 Fiorentina INTER 2-0 Monza
Sunday 20 August (all times CEST) 18:30 Roma vs. Salernitana 18:30 Sassuolo vs. Atalanta 20:45 Lecce vs. Lazio 20:45 Udinese vs. Juventus
Monday 21 August (all times CEST) 18:30 Torino vs. Cagliari 20:45 Bologna vs. Milan
Before kick-off, Vice President Javier Zanetti presented former Inter players Danilo D'Ambrosio and Roberto Gagliardini with shirts bearing the respective number of appearances they made in Nerazzurri colours.