MILAN - Inter Milan scored twice in the
last nine minutes to win 3-1 at Bologna on Saturday, claiming
their first victory of the season in coach Claudio Ranieri's
opening match, while champions AC Milan did likewise with a 1-0
triumph over Cesena.
Diego Milito won and converted an 81st-minute penalty and
Lucio headed in from Sulley Muntari's free-kick in the 87th to
give Inter their first win in six competitive outings this
Despite missing injured playmaker Wesley Sneijder, the
2009/10 treble winners went ahead through Giampaolo
Pazzini just before half-time before Alessandro Diamanti levelled
for Bologna with a penalty in the 66th minute.
"It was important to get off on the right foot, the lads
needed to recapture their self-belief," former Valencia,
Chelsea, Juventus and AS Roma coach Ranieri told the club's
"I said it wasn't important whether we played well or badly
but to get the result. The boys showed they are hungry... we
showed the right spirit.
"Inter's standards are very high," added Ranieri. "We will
score a few points, move towards the top of the table and then
we will come out and fight with everything we have."
Ranieri became Inter's fourth coach since the departure of
Jose Mourinho in May 2010 when he was named on Thursday to
replace Gian Piero Gasperini, fired after only five matches.
Dutchman Clarence Seedorf, 35, curled in the only goal after
five minutes to give injury-weakened Milan a 1-0 home win over
Cesena who are bottom after losing all four games.
Milan, who did just enough to win, have five points from
Napoli and Fiorentina drew 0-0 in Saturday's other game.
Fiorentina dominated the first half and were denied a goal
when Morgan de Sanctis made a memorable point-blank save to turn
away Cesare Natali's header. The game could have gone either way
in an end-to-end second half.
Diego Forlan hit the post for Inter and Philippe Coutinho
also went close as Ranieri's new team looked much more confident
than they did in Wednesday's 3-1 defeat at Novara.
After a let-off when Marco Di Vaio broke clear for Bologna
and side-footed over, Pazzini put the visitors ahead in the 39th
minute with a low shot which slipped through Jean Francois
Second from bottom Bologna took control after the break,
Diamanti converting a controversial penalty after pushing at a
corner, and looked likely to score again until Milito was
knocked over by Archimede Morleo in the area.
Morleo was sent off and Milito, left out of Argentina's
squad on Thursday along with Inter team mates Esteban Cambiasso
and Javier Zanetti, converted.
Lucio's near-post header made sure of the win to leave Inter
with four points from four games.
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