Four-star Milan ease pressure
AC Milan returned to form with a thumping 4-1 victory over previously unbeaten Lazio at San Siro on Sunday to ease the pressure on under-fire coach Carlo Ancelotti.
The former Milan and AS Roma midfielder had been feeling the strain after his team lost their first two Serie A encounters. But a midweek UEFA Cup success against FC Zurich seems to have restored Milan's self-confidence and goals from Clarence Seedorf, Gianluca Zambrotta, Pato and Kaka earned them a much-needed first three league points of the season.
Milan went in front as Seedorf tried to play a pass to Marco Borriello on the edge of the box, only to see the ball rebound to him off a defender's chest and he finished with aplomb.
Lazio's Argentine forward Mauro Zarate restored parity after running through a gaping hole in the Milan backline, but fullback Gianluca Zambrotta netted a howitzer from fully 30 yards to give Milan a 2-1 lead at the break.
Pato converted a Marek Jankulovski cross soon after the restart with a diving header and then Kaka robbed former Milan player Christian Brocchi before curling home a sumptuous fourth.
Earlier in the day Jose Mourinho continued his fine start to life at Inter Milan as his side won 3-1 at Torino to go top. An own goal by Marco Pisano, a missile from Brazilian fullback Maicon and a clever finish with the outside of the boot from Zlatan Ibrahimovic provided further proof that the marriage between Inter and Mourinho is quickly bearing fruit.
Inter were at their dominant best in Turin and there were clear signs that Mourinho's magic has already started to take effect. The former Chelsea manager started the redeemed Adriano up front alongside Sweden striker Ibrahimovic, and the pair proved too much for Torino.
But Mourinho chose to focus on the Swede's contribution at the beginning of the campaign rather than Adriano's return. "," said Mourinho. "Is Adriano back? We'll see. For me it's not enough to play well once in the league and once in the Champions League. For me it's more important that he realises that he messed up a lot."
Adriano lost form and shape over the previous two seasons and also complained of depression, leading to a loan move to Sao Paulo. But now he is on the right track to get back to his best.
Torino did not leave the building empty-handed as Elvis Abbruscato netted a Jurgen Samuel cross from close range for a consolation goal 14 minutes from time.
The top of the tree is taking on a familiar look with Juventus moving up to second after their 1-0 success at rock-bottom Cagliari. Juve were without injured French forward David Trezeguet, but new Brazilian signing Amauri proved he is more than an ample replacement as he volleyed home strike partner Vincenzo Iaquinta's flick-on after 39 minutes.
In Florence, Antonio Gilardino continued his return to top form with the winning goal for Fiorentina against Bologna in a 1-0 victory. Gilardino, whose career seemed to be stalling at Milan last season, peeled off to the back post to thump home a header from Mario Santana's right-wing cross eight minutes before the break.
'La Viola' coach Cesare Prandelli said the Italy striker had found the perfect place to ply his trade. "Gilardino has found the right calmness. He's found peace, the right atmosphere, the conviction that maybe he'd lost," said Prandelli. "Other than scoring, he worked really hard for the team. He's always available for the ball, he's not just a great goalscorer."
On Saturday Roma won their first match of the season with a 3-0 home success over Reggina.