Inter opened its Serie A campaign with an impressive victory over a newly-promoted Pescara in Abruzzo on Sunday evening.
The host played its part in an absorbing opening to the game at the Adriatico but it was left reeling after the concession of two goals in three minutes, with Diego Milito creating the opener for Wesley Sneijder before netting himself moments later after being set up by new signing Antonio Cassano.
Milito then squandered an excellent opening to grab a second in the closing stages but the veteran striker made amends by crossing for substitute Philippe Coutinho to seal victory for the visitors.
Pescara actually began the brighter of the two, with Jonathas flashing a shot wide with less than three minutes played before a driving run from Gianluca Caprari forced Inter goalkeeper Luca Castellazzi to rush off his line and concede a corner.
However, the Nerazzuri gradually began to settle and it was they who broke the deadlock, veteran right-back Javier Zanetti cutting infield before cleverly slipping the ball through for fellow Argentine Milito, whose low ball across the face of the six-yard box was converted by Sneijder at the far post.
Pescara were still coming to terms with that bolt from the blue when Inter struck again in just as gloriously simplistic fashion. This time Sneijder was the architect, prising open the Delfini defense with a perfectly-weighted pass which Cassano collected before squaring to Milito, who was left with the simplest of tap-ins.
Credit to Pescara, it eventually managed to regain its composure, as well as a modicum of control over the game, and the lively Caprari flashed a shot wide of Castellazzi’s right post after springing the offside trap.
However, in truth, Inter never looked remotely like throwing away their two-goal advantage and, with Sneijder looking like his old self, they always looked capable of pulling further clear.
Indeed, Fredy Guarin and Milito had both blown one-on-ones before Coutinho, who had come on in place of Cassano, made the game safe for Andrea Stramaccioni's side when he turned in Milito's cross from the right-hand side.
For Inter, who faces Roma next in Serie A, there was confirmation that it preseason optimism was thoroughly justified, while Pescara were left with the realisation that this could be a very long season for them.
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- Diego Milito
- Wesley Sneijder
- Antonio Cassano