It took just 82 seconds for Romelu Lukaku to mark his return to Inter Milan with a goal.
However, it was Denzel Dumfries who decided the game in injury time winner, as Inter won 2-1 in newly promoted Lecce on Saturday.
“It’s a victory we really wanted,” said Inter coach Simone Inzaghi. “But objectively, a team like ours should have finished earlier, especially since he scored in the first minute.
“We had great spirit, but we have to analyze why we didn’t win in the last second.”
AC Milan also got off to a winning start with a 4-2 win over Udinese to begin their league title defense, albeit with the help of a controversial penalty.
Inter brought Lukaku back on loan this off-season after joining Chelsea shortly after helping the Nerazzurri to the Serie A title.
Coincidentally, Lukaku started his second stint at Inter with the same team he faced in his first debut three years ago, when they won 4-0.
And it took less than two minutes for the Belgium international to reactivate his Inter account. Federico Di Marco delivered a cross from the left, Matteo his Darmian nodded in front of goal and Lukaku headed in from close range.
But unlike Lukaku’s first debut, Lecce never surrendered. And just after half-time Federico Di Francesco scored an angled shot for Assan Chesay to equalize for the home side.
Lecce almost unexpectedly took the lead at the hour mark, but Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic held off a hard-hitting free-kick from Kristjan Bistrowic.
But then it was all Intel. Dumfries headed in, but Lukaku missed the goal after fouling during the build-up.
Lecce goalkeeper Vladimiro Falcone also made a number of impressive saves, including blocking a late Lukaku shot.
However, in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Falcone was let down by a defender after failing to mark Dumfries, who chested the ball in from close range after Lautaro Martínez nodded his corner kick.
It took less than 10 minutes for the first referee controversy of the Serie A season.
Milan were trailing when captain Davide Calabria collided with opposing defender Brandon Soppey.
After a lengthy silence while reviewing the incident on the pitchside monitors, referee Livio Marinelli awarded Milan the penalty.
Theo Hernández scored the penalty and Ante Revic volleyed in front of Milan.
Udinese, along with Juventus, are one of the few teams Milan have failed to beat in their title-winning campaign.
And with less than two minutes left in a sold-out San Siro, Rodrigo Becao headed in a corner to give Udinese a shocking lead.
Milan quickly turned things around, but it was nailed down at half-time when Roberto Pereira floated on a cross from the right and Adam Masina cleared his marker for a diving header on the half-time stroke. .
However, Milan regained the lead just 30 seconds into the interval as two Udinese defenders tangled as they tried to deal with Hernández’s cross, allowing Brahim Diaz to tap the back post.
Diaz also reached for Milan’s fourth goal, rolling the ball forcefully along the byline, with Revic firing into the top left corner.
Two new signings from AC Milan debuted in the second half, with Belgium’s Charles de Queteraere and Divock Origi joining.
21-year-old De Ketelaere had his second-half goal ruled out for offside.
Silvio Berlusconi’s return to Serie A ended in defeat as the newly promoted Monza side lost 2-1 at home to Torino.
Berlusconi owned Milano for 31 years before selling it in 2017. The former Italian Prime Minister purchased Monza the following year.
Meanwhile, substitute Ademora Ruckman scored on his debut to help Atalanta win 2-0 at Sampdoria. Luckman’s goal came in an injury time on his time after Sump hit Woodwork on his second.
Rafael Troy scored the first goal for Atalanta.
https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2022-08-14/football/Lukaku-swiftly-opens-Inter-account-in-2-1-win-at-Lecce-6736245187 LUKAKU OPENS INTER ACCOUNT INSTANTLY AFTER 2-1 WIN IN LECCE