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Inter Milan held 1-1 by Bari

CHAMPION Inter Milan was held to a 1-1 draw at home by newly promoted Bari in its first match of the new season yesterday.

Inter's main rivals both won, with Juventus beginning its season with a 1-0 win at home to Chievo Verona thanks to a Vincenzo Iaquinta header, whilst AC Milan won away to Siena on Saturday.

Samuel Eto'o opened the scoring for Inter with his first goal for his new side when he slotted home a penalty on 56 minutes, before Vitali Kutuzov equalized with 15 minutes to go.

Jose Mourinho's team was lackluster and struggled to break down an ultra-defensive Bari side.

Mario Balotelli came on midway through the first half to join Eto'o and Diego Milito in attack, whilst winger Ricardo Quaresma was brought on at halftime to provide further attacking options.

Despite the changes Inter was unable to create any clear chances.

"We knew that the first game is always tough, especially against a newly promoted team," Inter midfielder Thiago Motta said. "We knew they would cause us problems and put us under pressure.

"In the second half we started well and had a number of chances to score. We messed them up and we missed some good chances."

Weak efforts from Eto'o, Milito, Maicon and Motta were the best Inter produced in the first half, whilst Kutuzov had the best chance for Bari, but stepped on the ball when through on goal.

Leonardo Bonucci's foul on Diego Milito gave Eto'o the chance to open the scoring and the Cameroon international obliged from the penalty spot.

The ex-Barcelona striker should have doubled the lead after Milito released him in the penalty area, but with the goal at his mercy Eto'o shot wide.

On 74 minutes Kutuzov made up for his miss earlier in the game. Antonio Langella raced down the left wing, cut the ball back and Kutuzov bundled the ball past Julio Cesar.

Despite taking a first half lead Juventus did not enjoy a comfortable evening against Chievo.

Iaquinta headed Juventus into the lead when he rose to meet a Diego freekick on 12 minutes.

On 26 minutes Iaquinta should have doubled his tally and Juventus' lead.

Amauri crossed from the left and Iaquinta rose above the Chievo defense, but Stefano Sorrentino made a despairing save with his feet

For the rest of the match Ciro Ferrara's side was unable to come to terms with Chievo's physical approach.

Sergio Pellissier constantly caused problems for Juventus' defense, even if he was unable to capitalize on any of the chances created.

"I would say in the first half we played well," Ferrara said. "In the second half though we tired a bit. Chievo is a good team and made it hard to create chances.

"I'm happy with the result rather than the performance, but it is important to win. Chievo gave us all manner of problems, but it will do us good to play a team that makes life difficult on the first day of the season."

Europa League representative's Genoa and AS Roma shared five goals as Genoa won 3-2 in a thrilling match.

After a goalless first half, defender Domenico Criscito gave the hosts the lead on 49 minutes after a mix up in the Roma defense following Giuseppe Sculli's cross.

But the lead only lasted five minutes before Marco Motta picked out Marco Andreolli with a cross. His header was saved by goalkeeper Marco Amelia but Brazilian midfielder Taddei headed in the rebound.

On 65 minutes Roma captain Francesco Totti gave Roma the lead after Genoa was unable to clear a David Pizarro cross.

Four minutes later, Alberto Zapater brought Genoa back into the lead by curling a freekick over the wall and past Roma keeper Doni.

From another set piece Genoa retook the lead. Sculli fired in a shot, Doni failed to push the ball to safety and Giuseppe Biava swept in the rebound.

"We've changed a lot from last year," Genoa coach Gian Piero Gasperini said. "It was a good match and we had to work hard as Roma has many good players.

"We had some luck, but we deserved to profit from some luck after all the chances we created."

Also yesterday it was: Catania 1, Sampdoria 2; Lazio 1, Atalanta 0; Livorno 0, Cagliari 0; Palermo 2, Napoli 1 and Udinese 2, Parma 2.


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