Inter Milan scrape home in Serie A opener

Romelu Lukaku has helped Inter Milan escape with a hard-fought 4-3 win over Fiorentina in Serie A.
Romelu Lukaku has helped Inter Milan escape with a hard-fought 4-3 win over Fiorentina in Serie A.

Inter Milan salvaged a late 4-3 home win against Fiorentina in their delayed start to the Serie A season, after Atalanta won 4-2 away to Torino.

Romelu Lukaku and Danilo D'Ambrosio struck in the last three minutes after Inter struggled through most of the game against the fast and dogged Florentines.

Christian Kouame was free to exchange with Giacomo Bonaventura in the box and tap in La Viola's early lead, which Lautaro Martinez levelled with a drive into the far corner seconds from half-time.

Early in the second half Martinez lucked out when his botched shot met the crucial deflection of defender Federico Ceccherini, but the Florence guests struck twice in six minutes as veteran ace Franck Ribery set up classy finishes from Gaetano Castrovilli and Federico Chiesa for a temporary 3-2 lead.

Earlier in Turin, Atalanta stunned the hosts despite home captain Andrea Belotti scoring a brace.

Il Toro went up through a tight-angle shot from their striker, but saw the Bergamaschi's captain Alejandro Gomez fire in a clinical equalizer before Luis Muriel's and Hans Hateboer's efforts.

Belotti nodded home to make it 3-2 by half-time, but Marten de Roon volleyed in the guests' fourth on 54, confirming the side's attacking attitude.

Atalanta played a brisk 2019-20 season finale to finish third in early August with an impressive 98-goal tally, and continued the season to the Champions League quarter-finals, taking part for the first time in the tournament.

Inter and Atalanta, who played in European tournaments in August, and Spezia, who won their Serie B play-offs, were allowed to rest last weekend when the league kicked off. Their postponed games are set for Wednesday.

Lazio, who skipped their game against Atalanta last Sunday, won 2-0 at Cagliari with Manuel Lazzari's early opener and a precise finish by Ciro Immobile after the break.

Defender Luca Caldirola's brace and a powerful late shot from Gaetano Letizia, also a defender, sealed the 3-2 rally of newcomers Benevento from two down at Sampdoria.

Australian Associated Press