MILAN - AC Milan opened their Serie A
campaign with a classy 4-0 win over Lecce but it was another
bleak Sunday for defeated Juventus and the officials who wrongly
awarded Napoli a goal in their 1-1 draw at Fiorentina.
Milan, third last term, had new recruit Zlatan Ibrahimovic
in the San Siro stands and the former Inter Milan striker
applauded when Alexandre Pato slammed in a 16th minute opener.
Swede Ibrahimovic was unavailable to new coach Massimiliano
Allegri as he has not yet completed the formalities of his move
from Barcelona but Milan did not need him as a promoted Lecce
Thiago Silva soon bundled in a corner and Pato netted again
on 28 minutes by rounding the goalkeeper after a shrewd pass
from Ronaldinho. Filippo Inzaghi made it four late on.
Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi, whose opinion on tactics led
to coach Leonardo's exit at the end of last term, put former
Cagliari boss Allegri under immediate pressure before kickoff.
"It's clear that with this squad Allegri has to win," said
the Italian Prime Minister, whose side's last scudetto was in
Juve lost 1-0 at Bari as their problems from last term were
again exposed despite a spending spree.
First-half substitute Massimo Donati blasted in for Bari
with his left foot from outside the area two minutes before the
Juve, Italy's most successful domestic club who finished a
poor seventh last term, have already been in competitive action
this season in Europa League qualifiers but still struggled.
Injuries meant Juve gave a start to striker Fabio
Quagliarella, who signed from Napoli on Friday, as well as
league debuts to six other new recruits who failed to gel.
"Clearly we have a lot to do," new coach Luigi Del Neri told
Sky TV. "It will be a difficult season because everyone will
battle especially hard against us."
Football's neverending debate over the use of technology was
fuelled by debutant Edinson Cavani giving Napoli the lead at
Fiorentina despite replays showing his early header bounced off
the bar on to the line, not over it.
Gaetano D'Agostino's rocket grabbed a 1-1 draw for the hosts
before both sides finished with 10 men.
Sampdoria, knocked out of the Champions League qualifiers in
midweek, beat Lazio 2-0 while Sicily's Palermo drew 0-0 with
On Saturday, last season's runners-up AS Roma drew 0-0 with
Champions Inter Milan, hurt by Friday's European Super Cup
defeat by Atletico Madrid, visit managerless Bologna on Monday
as Serie A completes its first round of matches as a breakaway
division from the rest of the league.
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