Palermo shock for Inter, flying start for Juve

Rome: Palermo stunned Inter Milan 4-3 on the opening weekend of the new Serie A season as Juventus delivered new coach Antonio Conte a flying start in their new stadium with a 4-1 thrashing of Parma.

Inter twice had the lead through Diego Milito while Diego Forlan scored a late consolation yesterday but Fabrizio Milito scored twice and Abel Hernandez and Maurizio Pinilla gave
interim Palermo boss Devis Mangia a dream start since stepping up from youth team duties.

"What pleased me the most was that we never gave up, we never got stretched even though we were tired at end, which is normal, we were struggling," said Mangia.

All the talk before the game was about new Inter coach Gian Piero Gasperini's back three and they were far from convincing. But he denied that was their problem.

 Palermo shock for Inter, flying start for Juve

Palermo players celebrate their 4-3 win over Inter Milan in their Serie A match. Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

"It's not about once defensive system or another, it was due to lack of attention and also tiredness," he said. "It seemed at end that we were doing well and could win the game, I'm disappointed we conceded those goals."

Inter took the lead in fortuitous circumstances as Dejan Stankovic's scuffed shot hit Milito and wrong-footed goalkeeper Alexandros Tzorvas on 33 minutes.

Despite the goal, Gasperini was far from happy with his side and immediately replaced Mauro Zarate, who was making his debut, with Wesley Sneijder, who had been surprisingly left out.

The start of the second half saw a glut of goals with three inside nine minutes. First Miccoli equalised after latching onto a dinked ball over the top before finishing crisply. But then Mattia Silvestre dragged Walter Samuel down in the box and Milito scored from the spot.

Then Hernandez finished off a slick passing move between Miccoli and Josip Ilicic to restore parity again. In a crazy finish, Miccoli curled home a stunning free-kick four minutes from time and then substitute Pinilla scored an even better screamer from distance a minute later.

In injury time Forlan, on his debut, collected Sneijder's chip and volleyed home.

In Turin, Stephan Lichsteiner and Arturo Vidal, making their debut, alongside Simone Pepe and Claudio Marchisio scored the goals to hand the Old Lady of Turin an ideal start.

Former Juve forward Sebastian Giovinco scored an injury-time consolation from the spot after Paolo De Ceglie had been sent off for bringing him down in the box. Having spent heavily in the summer on a number of recruits, Juve handed debuts to five players during the course of the game.

Despite the convincing victory, Conte was not an entirely satisfied man. "In the first half there was a valid goal ruled out and we were denied a stonewall penalty," complained Conte, who enjoyed a highly successful playing career with Juventus.

"Otherwise it was a good debut. Having said that I don't want to con anyone, we weren't perfect and there's still a lot of work to do."

They were ahead on 16 minutes after a moment of genius from Andrea Pirlo, who scooped the ball over a static backline for right-back Lichsteiner to run onto and take around Antonio Mirante before slotting into the empty net.

The killer second came only four minutes later as Alessandro Del Piero fed the ball wide to Pepe, who thrashed a shot across Mirante and inside the far post from 12 yards.

Chile midfielder Vidal then came on to score the third with an acrobatic volley from just outside the area. The fourth was simply sublime as Pirlo played another sumptuous chipped pass over the top and Marchisio ran past ball-watching defenders to brilliantly flick the ball over Mirante on the stretch.

Luis Enrique had a disastrous league debut on the Roma bench as his team lost 1-2 at home to Cagliari and finished with 10 men.


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Updated Date: Sep 12, 2011 11:00:59 IST