Simone Inzaghi couldn’t have asked for a better opponent to start life as Inter boss and neither could those who bet with PointsBet on I Nerazzurri. Genoa made the trip to the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on Saturday without having scored a single goal or without a single point from their previous six visits to face Inter.
That trend continued as the 2021/22 Serie A season got underway, with Inzaghi’s Inter running out 4-0 winners to take their first step towards silencing those who have asked questions of how they’ve gone about their business during the summer transfer window.
Calhanoglu shows his class
With a goal and an assist to his name, and another goal chalked off for an earlier offside, Hakan Calhanoglu announced himself to his new fans in the best way imaginable on Saturday. Impressively, the No.20 became the first Nerazzurri player to both score and assist on his debut for the club since 2006, when Zlatan Ibrahimovic did just that as he made his bow against Fiorentina.
The former AC Milan playmaker was at his very best, though Rossoneri fans will be quick to say that they too saw him produce performances of that level against inferior opponents during his time representing the red and black half of Milan. It does seem, though, that Calhanoglu’s decision to leave Milan to join their cross-city rivals on a free transfer was the right one as far as his career is concerned.
Genoa’s defensive vulnerabilities shouldn’t be completely overlooked, but there was enough seen from Calhanoglu on his debut to suggest that Inzaghi might just be able to get the very best out of the Turk and, with a bit of luck, Calhanoglu could be to Inter what Luis Alberto was to Lazio during Inzaghi’s reign at the Stadio Olimpico.
Time is ticking for Ballardini
Grifone boss Davide Ballardini knows how it feels to be sacked, particularly at Genoa. The 57-year-old has never managed to accumulate more than 40 games in charge of a club in any one stint before being sacked, and his current tenure at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris is up to 27.
With Enrico Preziosi’s trigger-happy approach well known, as well as their complicated relationship, Ballardini might well be planning ahead to a return to the Marassi later this season to save Genoa from relegation again after an October sacking.