The title-holders were much-changed from only a few months ago, losing Antonio Conte, Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi. Lautaro Martinez was suspended, with Alexis Sanchez, Roberto Gagliardini and naturally Christian Eriksen injured, so new buy Edin Dzeko started upfront for Simone Inzaghi’s side. The Grifone had Mattia Bani and Valon Behrami banned, with Mattia Destro, Ivan Radovanovic and Paolo Ghiglione dropped pending transfers.
It was the perfect start for the reigning champions, as within five minutes Milan Skriniar rose to nod in a Hakan Calhanoglu corner kick.
Marcelo Brozovic’s shot on the half-volley tested Salvatore Sirigu at full stretch, but there was nothing the goalkeeper could do on the ferocious Calhanoglu right-foot rocket from outside the area, set up by Dzeko.
A Dzeko chest and volley was deflected onto the crossbar by a defender and Zinho Vanheusden made a decisive tackle on Alessandro Bastoni.
Genoa finally had a chance on the stroke of half-time, Goran Pandev’s attempt charged down and Yayah Kallon wide after spinning Skriniar.
Ivan Perisic had the ball in the net with an angled drive, but he was marginally offside. Perisic was offside again after the restart, meaning Calhanoglu’s strike did not count.
Dzeko almost got a goal on his debut, but the header from Federico Dimarco’s corner was brilliantly parried by Salvatore Sirigu.
The Genoa goalkeeper made another great one-handed save on Dzeko’s curler, but this time Nicolò Barella flicked the rebound with his heel, allowing Arturo Vidal to just tap in from close range.
It still wasn’t over, as Skriniar had to clear off the line when Vanheusden tried to score from the tightest of angles.
Dzeko eventually got his goal on the Inter debut and his 200th Serie A appearance, using his head to steer in the Vidal cross when getting round the back of defenders.
Inter 4-0 Genoa
Skriniar 5 (I), Calhanoglu 14 (I), Vidal 74 (I), Dzeko 87 (I)