Inter Milan stutter in Serie A opener after Euro Supercup debacle

Inter Milan stutter in Serie A opener after Euro Supercup debacle

Reigning champions Inter Milan dithered in their Serie A season opener and only managed a disappointing 0-0 draw Monday at underdogs Bologna, dpa reported.

The game was rescheduled to allow Inter to rest after losing 2-0 to Atletico Madrid on Friday in the European Supercup, but the European champions showed no improvement and again failed to score despite a brisk second half.

The hosting minnows fired coach Franco Colomba on Sunday, but played a great game with youth team coach Paolo Magnani provisionally on the bench.

New President Sergio Porcedda was greeted by offensive banners placed outside the stadium by fans who disagreed with Colomba's firing.

A good start from Inter brought no chances in the first 15 minutes, and the champions ran a risk when Uruguayan Henry Gimenez clutched a loose ball and fired above the bar with Brazil's Julio Cesar away from goal.

Austrian Gyorgy Garics fired against an Inter defender on 20 minutes, and on the following corner kick Daniele Portanova was free to nod, albeit too centrally to worry Julio Cesar.

There were no threats for Bologna in the first half as Kenyan McDonald Mariga grossly botched his effort on 35 minutes, while Gimenez fired high again from inside the area as the Inter defence froze on a fast action on the right flank.

A high free kick from Dutchman Wesley Sneijder closed the first half, and Inter woke up after the break with a header from Macedonian Goran Pandev, a deflected drive from Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o and goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano blocking a drive from Sneijder.

Viviano saved his side on 73 minutes with a great dive on a nasty free kick from the Dutch sharpshooter and one minute later thanked the bar on a close-range shot from Eto'o.

The goalkeeper again denied Sneijder's late effort and dithered when an injury-time free kick ricocheted on the wall.

The season debut was sparkling for AC Milan as Brazilian Pato scored a brace Sunday in a 4-0 drubbing of promoted guests Lecce to secure a convincing win that put the Devils above the poor showings of other big teams.

The first game was not pleasant for Roma, last season's second- place club who drew 0-0 Saturday at home to newcomers Cesena, and even worse for troubled giants Juventus who were stunned 1-0 Sunday by minnow hosts Bari.

Genoa's debut were excellent as they won 1-0 away to Udinese on Saturday.

In remaining Sunday action, Fiorentina and Napoli drew 1-1, Sampdoria beat Lazio 2-0, Parma won 2-0 against promoted Brescia, Chievo edged Catania 2-1, and Palermo and Cagliari drew 0-0.

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