Rome: Minnows Cesena stunned AC Milan 2-0 as
big-money signings Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who missed
a penalty, suffered nightmare debuts.
Meanwhile champions Inter Milan secured their first Serie
A victory of the season with a 2-1 success at home to Udinese
But the real drama happened in Cesena where goals from
Erjon Bogdani and Emanuele Giaccherini put Milan`s stars to
Two seasons ago Cesena were plying their trade in the
third tier of Italian football but with this win they proved
they deserve their place among the elite.
Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri blamed his team for not
dealing with Cesena`s counters.
"We didn`t start badly and we had a couple of chances at
0-0 to go in front," he said.
"We knew beforehand that they were good on the
counter-attack but we still conceded two goals. We made life
easy for them on the things they do well."
Cesena opened the scoring with a delightful and simple
move as Giaccherini spread the ball from left to right where
Luca Ceccarelli brought the ball down on his chest and
volleyed it across goal for Bogdani to glance home a header.
Milan had plenty of chances with Ronaldinho bringing a
save out of Francesco Antoniolli, the oldest goalkeeper in the
league at 40, with a curling effort.
Pato then headed straight at the goalkeeper having got
above marker Yuto Nagatomo while his cross-shot then hit
Ibrahimovic before falling to Antoniolli.
As Milan pushed forward they were caught again a minute
before the break as Stephen Appiah`s clearing header found
Bogdani, he rolled marker Sokratis Papastathopoulos and
released Giaccherini who scampered in on goal and beat
Cristian Abbiati with a crisp shot.
Pato had the ball in the net for the visitors after the
break but it was ruled out for a handball while Ibrahimovic
hit the post with a late penalty to compound his personal
At the San Siro Samuel Eto`o scored the Inter winner
after Antonio Floro Flores had cancelled out Lucio`s early
But this was a struggle throughout for Rafael Benitez`s
"Of course the important thing was to win," said Benitez.
"We had a very good start but then we lost control in midfield
and they had some dangerous counters.”
"Then after we went ahead, and we didn`t get the third
goal, we didn`t play well at the end. We were a bit nervous."
The Spaniard sprung to the defence of last season`s star
Diego Milito, who once again fired blanks and was replaced
"Milito is working very well, he`s got quality but he
just needs time and he will improve little by little," said
Inter were off to a dream start as Lucio was left free at
the back post to calmly take down a Wesley Sneijder corner and
volley home on seven minutes.
But although the champions seemed in control, they
created little and the visitors equalised on 31 minutes.
Alexis Sanchez took a short corner, got the return and
then crossed for Floro Flores to arrive late and get above
Lucio to power home a header from six yards.
The winner came from the spot on 67 minutes after
substitute Gabriele Angella needlessly handled a cross from
Handanovic saved Eto`o`s initial effort but the follow-up
fell kindly to the Cameroonian who slotted home.
Cagliari are the early pace-setters, leading Cesena on
goal difference, after thrashing 10-man AS Roma 4-1 as Nicolas
Burdisso was dismissed for a horror two-footed lunge.
Daniele Conti opened the scoring for the hosts with a
scorcher on eight minutes but Daniele De Rossi equalised 10
miutes later with a header from a Francesco Totti corner.
But Burdisso gave away a penalty and earnt a red card for
a terrible tackle, allowing Alessandro Matri to score from the
Burdisso`s younger brother Guillermo was brought on to
shore up the defence in place of captain Totti but Robert
Acquafresca then scored with a header.
Matri added the fourth two minutes after the break and
Andrea Lazzari wrapped things up two minutes from time.