MILAN, Sept 14, (AP): Mauro Icardi scored his first ever hat trick as Inter Milan beat 10-man Sassuolo 7-0 on Sunday for its first win of the fledgling Serie A season. New signing Paolo Osvaldo netted twice and Mateo Kovacic also recorded his first league goal for Inter, while Fredy Guarin capped off a fantastic day for the Nerazzurri. Sassuolo, which lost at home by the same scoreline in its first meeting with Inter last season, also had forward Domenico Berardi sent off for an elbow on Juan Jesus.
“I never scored a hat trick, either with Sampdoria or with Inter,” Icardi said. “Today is the first and it’s something nice, because I managed to do it at San Siro. This hat trick is for my family, which is always with me.” Napoli missed a penalty as it went down to a surprise 1-0 loss at home to Chievo Verona, while Lazio beat Cesena 3-0.
Elsewhere, it was: Fiorentina 0, Genoa 0; and Cagliari 1, Atalanta 2. Sampdoria beat Torino 2-0 in the lunchtime kickoff and said it will donate half of the gate receipts to ALS research. After kicking off its season with a goalless draw at Torino, Inter was keen for victory in front of its fans.
The San Siro faithful had to wait less than four minutes for Inter to open its goal account for the season. Icardi beat the offside trap to run onto Kovacic’s through ball and although his first attempt was blocked by Andrea Consigli, he rounded the goalkeeper and bundled it into an empty net.
Kovacic netted his first Serie A goal in the 21st minute following a couple of flicks from Icardi and Osvaldo. The Sassuolo defence looked shaky and it left Icardi in acres of space on the half hour to control Hernanes’ pass and curl into the bottom right corner from outside the area.
It was then Osvaldo’s turn to open his Inter account four minutes from halftime after Dodo’s initial shot was blocked by Consigli. Icardi completed his hat trick eight minutes into the second half, with Kovacic again the provider and any hope Sassuolo had of keeping the scoreline down evaporated shortly afterwards when Berardi was dismissed.
“We played well, even though we were a bit lucky in opening the scoring immediately,” Icardi said. “Osvaldo and I played well together, we made the right movements. But we need to work, because we can still improve a lot.” Guarin generously set up Osvaldo for the former Southampton forward’s second before getting on the scoresheet himself as Inter matched last season’s result.
Napoli was hoping for a timely boost after a poor start to the season. It lost a Champions League playoff to Athletic Bilbao and then struggled before scoring an injury-time goal for a 2-1 win at Genoa in its Serie A opener.
Things seemed to be looking up when it was awarded a penalty in the 26th minute after Bostjan Cesar tripped Gonzalo Higuain. However, Chievo goalkeeper Francesco Bardi dove to his right to brilliantly save the Argentine’s spot kick.
Maxi Lopez hit the crossbar moments later and that proved to be a warning shot as he scored his first goal since February three minutes into the second half, finishing off a Chievo counter attack. There was better news for Lazio, which had started the season with a 3-1 defeat at Milan.
Former Cesena players Antonio Candreva and Marco Parolo scored either side of halftime before Stefano Mauri capped a positive result in stoppage time. Fiorentina, which lost 2-0 to Roma on opening day, is still winless after the heroics of Genoa and Italy goalkeeper Mattia Perin kept it at bay. Former Fiorentina defender Facundo Roncaglia was sent off in the 72nd minute for a second bookable offence.