Romelu Lukaku lauded by Antonio Conte after scoring on Inter debut
Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku scored on his Inter Milan debut as new coach Antonio Conte's reign got off to a perfect start with a 4-0 win over promoted Lecce yesterday morning (Singapore time).
"There was a spark, but now we must become dynamite," said Conte, as he began his campaign to topple Juventus, who have won the last eight Serie A titles.
Lukaku - a £70 million (S$119m) summer signing from Manchester United - scored the third goal on the hour mark at the San Siro. A fierce drive from Lautaro Martinez was parried by Lecce goalkeeper Gabriel into the path of Lukaku who coolly slotted home. The 26-year-old turned and took a bow in front of the jubilant Inter fans among the 65,000 crowd.
"Lukaku entered the world of Inter in the best way, with great humility," said Conte.
"He's a gentle giant, a giant with a smile. He is ready to work for the team.
"But not only Romelu, Lautaro also played very well."
Croat Marcelo Brozovic had opened the scoring after 21 minutes with a powerful strike for his 15th league goal in his sixth season with Inter.
Another new signing, Stefano Sensi, a summer loan from Sassuolo, also found a way through three minutes later.
Lecce played the last 15 minutes a man down, after Brazilian Diego Farias saw red on his debut for a studs-up tackle on his former Cagliari teammate Nicolo Barella.
Antonio Candreva blasted in the fourth goal on 84 minutes, allowing Inter to match champions Juventus and runners-up Napoli, who both won their opening league matches last weekend.
Juventus beat Parma 1-0, with Napoli edging a seven-goal thriller at Fiorentina 4-3.
"We started off well with the right intensity and desire, respecting the idea of what I wanted," said Conte.
"Let's celebrate until midnight, from tomorrow we think of Cagliari, it will be a difficult trip," he added of Monday morning's (Singapore time) game.
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