Inter's expensively assembled squad were dealt a heavy dose of reality in a 1-0 defeat at Sassuolo in their Serie A season opener on Sunday.
Plenty is expected of Luciano Spalletti's side following an influx of fresh faces but they appeared disjointed against a team that finished seven places below them last season.
Punishment came in the shape of Domenico Berardi's 27th-minute penalty and it was all a counter-attacking Sassuolo needed to notch a seventh victory in 11 league meetings between the pair.
The Nerazzurri's highly anticipated attacking partnership of Mauro Icardi and Lautaro Martinez failed to threaten, with the injured Radja Nainggolan sure to be rushed back as soon as possible to shore up an unsteady midfield.
Spalletti's decision to name four new signings in his starting XI came at the cost of early organisation with only Samir Handanovic's outstretched left boot preventing Mehdi Bourabia from netting a third-minute opener.
The hosts did not have to wait long for a deserved lead, though, as Berardi converted from the spot in the 27th minute, Miranda having clumsily bundled over Federico Di Francesco.
Ivan Perisic stepped off the bench at the break but it was Matteo Politano who looked the most likely to conjure an equaliser against his former side, the winger flashing a fierce drive across the face on the hour.
Clearer chances soon came at both ends with Kevin Prince-Boateng brushing the outside of the near post with a clever first-time effort, before Icardi side-footed a low Perisic cross over the bar.
Stefan de Vrij threatened to snatch a point in stoppage time, but his header from Politano's delivery was impressively parried by Andrea Consigli as Sassuolo clung on.
What does it mean: Too soon for title talk
The early evidence suggests a developing Inter are, understandably, some way short of the finished article. Napoli were excellent last season and still finished four points shy of champions Juventus, who have only strengthened further over the off-season. Inter, with a 23-point gap to bridge, cannot yet be considered genuine Scudetto contenders.
Pat on the back: Duncan the driving force
Compact and disciplined from front to back, Sassuolo were richly deserving of three points. Their tireless efforts to squeeze the space in midfield were led ably by Alfred Duncan, who made numerous interceptions and provided necessary energy going forward.
Boot up the backside: Brozovic in the bad books
Spalletti undoubtedly wanted a Croatian in his midfield come the start of the season, but Marcelo Brozovic was perhaps not the player he had in mind. The 25-year-old was too often ponderous in possession, with his turnovers in the early exchanges regularly exposing Inter's high line.
Key Opta Facts
7 - Sassuolo have won more matches versus Inter in Serie A than against any other side – winning 7 of the 11 fixtures. Torment. #SassuoloInter— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) August 19, 2018
- Since 2015 Inter have lost the most Serie A games against Sassuolo (seven) - at least three more than against any other side in the period.
- Inter have lost on the opening weekend in two of the last three Serie A campaigns, the same as in their previous 23.
- Domenico Berardi has scored four goals in his last six Serie A games played against Inter.
- Sassuolo have lost only one of their six opening games in a Serie A season - three wins and two draws in their last five.
Inter head back to Milan for a meeting with Torino next Sunday, while Sassuolo visit Cagliari.
16 de noviembre 2018
|Mayweather: Nasukawa exhibition back on|
|Witsel: Joining Borussia Dortmund my best career decision|
|Ballon d´Or win would not change Modric´s ´best year´|
|Ireland v New Zealand: Opta stats behind the meeting of the world´s top two|
|The Breakdown: A statistical look at Saturday´s rugby internationals|
|Batshuayi dismisses reports of Valencia departure|
|Brazil must make Copa America final – Tite|
|Rockets rout Warriors as Green goes scoreless|
|Seahawks rally past Packers|
|Lakers G Rondo to miss 4-5 weeks|
|Durant is done with questions about Green|
|Smith, Warner set to return to IPL in 2019|
|No rivalry between Mbappe and Griezmann – Deschamps|
|Neymar: Emery will bring success to Arsenal|
|Jedvaj backs Croatia to deliver against England|
|Howell grabs first-round lead at Sea Island|
|Rooney backing Kane to break England record|
|Betts named American League MVP|
|Republic of Ireland must improve, says under-pressure O´Neill|
|Injured Sergio Ramos to leave Spain squad|
|Yelich named National League MVP|
|Low praises ´beautiful goals´ from Sane and Gnabry|
|Belgium boss Martinez pleased with patient Batshuayi|
|Wilson and Sancho pay tribute to England ´legend´ Rooney|
|Rooney gave England squad a lesson in humility - Southgate|
|This Week in U.S. Sports: LeBron passes Chamberlain, Williamson looking like he is next|
|We still have a chance - Luis Enrique not giving up hope after Spain defeat|
15 de noviembre 2018
|Rockets ´parting ways´ with Anthony|
|Rooney became ´embarrassed´ at Manchester United|
|Federer: ´Easier´ to play when I´m up against it|
|Rooney convinced England are in safe hands with Southgate|
|Black Caps skipper Williamson confident over first Test availability|
|Federer cruises into last four of ATP Finals for 15th time|
|Republic of Ireland 0 Northern Ireland 0: Randolph saves light up bore draw|
|England 3 United States 0: Experimental side impresses on Rooney farewell|
|Croatia 3 Spain 2: Jedvaj keeps World Cup finalists in contention|
|Belgium 2 Iceland 0: Batshuayi rekindles Hazard flame with match-winning brace|
|Germany 3 Russia 0: Sane on target as Low´s men stroll|
|´Fancy taking a look at Brexit?´ - Southampton credit Austin with VAR breakthrough|
|Green: Altercation with Durant will make Warriors stronger|
|Juventus star Dybala dismisses Manchester United links|
|Strinic given all clear to return to AC Milan training|
|Papier wait over as scrum-half starts for Springboks|
|MLB commissioner Manfred gets five-year extension|
|South Africa international Du Preez joins brother at Sale|
|Pogba and Sterling support my football dream, says Bolt|
|Asensio wants to ´feel more important´ at Real Madrid|
|Former Roosters and Cowboys centre Linnett joins Hull KR|
|New team tournament ATP Cup wins Djokovic´s approval|
|Roma and Pallotta donate €150,000 to injured Liverpool fan Sean Cox|
|England captain Root reprimanded on frustrating day in Pallekele|
|Jokanovic proud of establishing Fulham´s ´footballing identity´|
|Huget to make first France appearance in a year|
|Mourinho and squad ´united´ despite ´mixed´ start, says Woodward|
|Petaia and Gordon to make Wallabies debuts in Padova|
|Barcelona star Arthur determined not to let Xavi praise go to his head|
|Youthful Netherlands have forged strong bond - Wijnaldum|
|Premier League confirms £5m package for departing chief Scudamore|
|Thiem blasts past Nishikori to keep semi-final hopes alive|
|He´s always got time for me – Gerrard loved learning from Liverpool boss Klopp|
|Kearney and Ringrose return for All Blacks clash|
|Molinari on course for Race to Dubai title, Smith and Otaegui lead|
|Premier League to implement VAR from 2019-20 season|
|FSF urges Premier League clubs to reject Scudamore ´golden handshake´ request|
|Rhinos pull off Merrin coup|
|Ribery apologises for reporter altercation|
|Ford to captain much-changed England, Cokanasiga starts|
|Crotty replaces injured Williams for Ireland showdown|
|Classy Roshen gives Sri Lanka unlikely lead|
|Injured Lukaku out of Belgium-Iceland Nations League clash|