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.
12 de noviembre 2018
|Mendy suffers knee injury, leaves France squad with Lacazette|
|Zverev beats Cilic in error-strewn London battle|
|Rafinha replaces injured Casemiro in Brazil squad|
|´One-dimensional´ Australia batsmen need work before World Cup - Finch|
|Mancini keen to work with ´incredibly gifted´ Tonali|
|Italian manager of the year Allegri targets long Juve stay|
|Injured Lee departs as Wales prepare squad for Tonga|
|Conte content to wait until June for coaching return|
|Etzebeth set to return, Whiteley a doubt for Scotland Test|
|In-form Verstappen does not need distractions from 2019 challenge|
|FA asks Guardiola to explain Manchester derby referee comments|
|LaLiga MVP Messi hopes the division stays wide open|
|Murray and Henshaw out of All Blacks Test|
|Injured Man Utd duo Pogba and Martial drop out of France squad|
|Modric cannot always be the best - Dalic|
|Very troubling times - LeBron James alarmed by gun violence|
|Bayern confirm Ribery ´altercation´ with reporter|
|Madrid hit by injuries to Nacho and Casemiro|
|Record-breaking Mushfiqur torments Zimbabwe|
|Spartak Moscow appoint Oleg Kononov|
|Rooney predicts ´exciting time´ after being named in MLS Best XI|
|Former England call-up Graham replaces Thomson in Scotland squad|
|Slater and Thurston among Queensland greats to join Maroons staff|
|Rapana set for six months out after shoulder surgery|
|Alves determined to play in the Premier League|
|Rockets GM denies Anthony will be waived|
|Monaco´s plight not Henry´s fault - Silva|
|It´s like the FBI came - River assistant unable to talk to Gallardo during final|
|Norman says Washington home crowds ´just don´t really care´|
|Bucks beat Nuggets to finish gruelling schedule stretch|
|Madrid ´very happy´ with Solari, says Butragueno|
|Titans stun Patriots, Browns upset Falcons|
|Browns´ Chubb relishes record-breaking performance: It definitely is very special|
|MLS Review: Red Bulls, Atlanta to meet in conference finals|
|Neymar wants more from perfect PSG|
|Higuain is feeling a lot of pressure – Gattuso|
|I didn´t insult anyone, says apologetic Higuain|
|Allegri delighted with Juventus response|
|Kyle Busch wins at Phoenix as Harvick, Truex qualify for Championship 4|
|WATCH: Highlights of thrilling Boca-River Copa Libertadores final|
|PSG coach Tuchel demands more despite Monaco thrashing|
|Boca missed too many chances, rues Schelotto|
|Solari remains tight-lipped on Real Madrid future|
|Hamilton not surprised by Verstappen-Ocon collision|
11 de noviembre 2018
|Ronaldo fires Juventus to Serie A record|
|Higuain did nothing serious - Ronaldo hopes Milan striker avoids ban|
|Solari completes perfect Real Madrid audition with fourth straight win|
|Verstappen ordered to do public service after Ocon scuffle|
|Nishikori stuns out-of-sorts Federer|
|Fitzgerald overtakes Owens in career receiving yards|
|Monaco 0 Paris Saint-Germain 4: Cavani hat-trick adds to Henry woes|
|Celta Vigo 2 Real Madrid 4: Solari leads Los Blancos to fourth straight win|
|AC Milan 0 Juventus 2: Higuain sent off in horror show|
|Brees leapfrogs Favre on all-time list for touchdown passes|
|Kuchar holds on to seal first title since 2014|
|Nuno proud of Wolves display at Arsenal|
|Jones fastest in NFL to reach 10,000 receiving yards|
|WATCH: Verstappen shoves Ocon after Brazilian Grand Prix collision|
|Boca Juniors 2 River Plate 2: Izquierdoz own goal ensures first leg ends level|
|Australia will be a different ball game, warns Rohit|
|We´re not going to be relegated – Mourinho at ease over United being eighth|
|Mahomes breaks Chiefs´ single-season TD record|
|Toronto Wolfpack name McDermott as head coach|
|Guardiola: Manchester City fought fear in derby triumph|
|Sterling should have avoided showboating - Guardiola|
|Ocon: Verstappen wanted to punch me in post-race altercation|
|Emery confirms Welbeck fractured ankle|
|Hamilton secures double for Mercedes as Ocon denies Verstappen|
|City´s 44 passes lead to Gundogan derby goal|
|Pogba injury threw Manchester United, concedes Mourinho|