Even without Romelu Lukaku and Antonio Conte, Inter Milan seems intent on successfully defending its Serie A title. The Nerazzurri completely overwhelmed visiting Bologna 6-1 on Saturday to extend their unbeaten start to the Italian league.
Substitute Edin Džeko scored two late goals after Lautaro Martinez, Milan Skriniar, Nicolò Barella and Matias Vecino gave the hosts a four-goal cushion.
Arthur Theate pulled one back for Bologna four minutes from time.
The victory provided some welcome relief following two frustrating performances for Inter: A draw at Sampdoria last weekend and a loss at home to Real Madrid in the Champions League.
Inter moved atop the standings, one point above Roma, AC Milan, Napoli — which are yet to play this weekend — and Fiorentina, which won at Genoa 2-1 earlier.
There had been concern about Inter’s status after Conte surprisingly left the team in May shortly after leading the club to its first Italian league title in more than a decade.
Conte was openly concerned about the finances of Inter’s Chinese owners and his lack of input in the transfer market, and his worries were confirmed when Lukaku was sold to Chelsea in August for a reported $135 million, a record transfer fee for the European champions.
Lukaku scored 64 goals in 95 matches across all competitions in his two seasons at Inter.
But under new coach Simone Inzaghi, Inter has had no trouble so far making up for losing Lukaku’s goals.
With 15 goals scored in four matches, Inter has the most productive attack in the league.
Lautaro started things off against Bologna by redirecting a cross from Denzel Dumfries six minutes in at the San Siro for his fourth goal in as many matches.
Skriniar then rose uncontested to meet a corner with an on-target header on the half-hour mark and Barella concluded another devastating counterattack four minutes later.
After the break, Vecino scored with a tap-in then Džeko scored through the goalkeeper’s legs for his first and fired in from a sharp angle for his second.