Inter tore Bologna to shreds at San Siro with a 6-1 scoreline, as Denzel Dumfries, Lautaro Martinez and Edin Dzeko made a big impact.
Simone Inzaghi had to make adjustments after a draw with Sampdoria and unlucky defeat to Real Madrid, using a new all-Argentine partnership of Lautaro Martinez and Tucu Correa, while Denzel Dumfries got his first start, with Arturo Vidal and Stefano Sensi injured. They went into this round on seven Serie A points, just like Bologna, who missed Jerdy Schouten and Kingsley Michael.
It took under six minutes to break the deadlock, as Matias Vecino’s slide-rule pass sent Dumfries down the right and he got past Aaron Hickey to whip a perfect cross to the back post for Lautaro Martinez.
Bologna had a huge double opportunity to equalise, first Roberto Soriano bringing a tough save out of Samir Handanovic from a tight angle, then Nicola Sansone firing the rebound over the bar.
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The Lautaro-Correa experiment only lasted 28 minutes, as Tucu had to go off after being badly winded by a knock to the ribs.
Nonetheless, Inter doubled their lead moments later when Milan Skriniar rose practically unchallenged to nod in a Federico Dimarco corner from four yards.
Bologna fell to pieces and Dumfries did not technically get the assist for the third goal, but near enough. The Dutchman was sent down the right by Marcelo Brozovic, combined with Edin Dzeko and saw his low cross deflected by Lorenzo De Silvestri into the path of Nicolò Barella.
Lukasz Skorupski needed a tricky save to keep out Dimarco’s volley into the ground, while on 50 minutes Lautaro Martinez smashed his strike against the crossbar on yet another Dumfries assist.
It was all Inter, as Skorupski parried a Brozovic strike and Lautaro Martinez volleyed the rebound over from 10 yards.
The fourth goal saw Dimarco’s roll across from the left deflected beyond both Dzeko and Dumfries in the six-yard box, but Vecino eventually met it at the back post from the tightest of angles.
Lautaro Martinez’s smart dummy allowed the ball through to Dzeko, who took one touch and with his second fired the finish through the legs of Mitchell Dijks for 5-0.
Even Alexis Sanchez got to make his season debut after injury problems, and immediately provided an assist. Dzeko seemed as if he had to cross from the by-line, but instead opted to shoot directly into the roof of the net with his right foot from the tightest of possible angles and 6-0.
Bologna did get one back late on, Arthur Theate left unmarked at the back post for a diving header on a short corner.
Dumfries almost got the goal he deserved in stoppages, but Medel and Skorupski did just enough.
Inter 6-1 Bologna
Lautaro Martinez 6 (I), Skriniar 30 (I), Barella 34 (I), Vecino 54 (I), Dzeko 62, 68 (I), Theate 86 (B)