AC Milan forward Christian Pulisic struck to set Stefano Pioli’s side on its way to a 4-1 thrashing of Torino in its opening home game of the season in Serie A on Saturday, while Hellas Verona snatched a 2-1 victory over visitor AS Roma.
Pulisic’s opener, two Olivier Giroud penalties and a close-range lob by Theo Hernandez moved Milan provisionally top after they got off to a winning 2-0 start at Bologna on Monday.
“An excellent match, the weekly work made us level up,” Pioli told DAZN. “The team has made an important journey in recent years and top-level reinforcements have arrived… A good group is forming in terms of attitude, availability.”
U.S. international Pulisic looks set to become a new idol at the San Siro after his move from Chelsea as he put Milan ahead in the 33rd minute by firing home from close range in front of a capacity crowd for his second goal in two games.
Torino defender Perr Schuurs temporarily spoilt the mood when he levelled three minutes later with a first-time effort but that was the visitor’s only shot on target all night.
Giroud restored Milan’s lead with a penalty minutes before halftime, calmly firing the ball into the roof of the net after the host was awarded a penalty for handball.
Hernandez chipped goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic to add the third in first-half stoppage time following a couple of one-twos with Rafael Leao before Frenchman Giroud converted another spot kick in the second half after Schuurs’ foul on Leao.
Torino, which was held to a 0-0 draw at home by newly-promoted Cagliari on Monday, lacked the ideas to pose any danger in front of Mike Maignan’s goal as Milan kept the ball and continued pushing to increase the scoreline.
Jose Mourinho’s Roma fell short at Verona which was quick to take the lead when midfielder Ondrej Duda scored from close range in less than four minutes after visiting goalkeeper Rui Patricio saved a fierce long-range shot by Filippo Terracciano.
Roma had a golden chance to equalise shortly after through midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini who controlled the ball on the edge of the box but his low shot went inches wide.
Instead, Verona doubled its lead in first-half stoppage time through forward Cyril Ngonge who left the Milan defence standing as he netted on the counter with a solo run.
Algeria midfielder Houssem Aouar pulled one back for Roma after the break but the visitor was unable to rescue a draw despite Verona finishing with 10 men following an 84th minute red card for Isak Hien for a foul on Andrea Belotti.
Verona, which secured another season in Serie A via a relegation playoff last term, is provisionally second after winning their opening match at Empoli 1-0.
“We conceded an avoidable goal which intimidated us a bit … (but) these matches create mentality and a strong identity,” new Verona manager Marco Baroni told a press conference.
Roma, which was still without Mourinho as he serves a 10-day touchline ban for criticising a referee at the end of last season, has one point after being held to a 2-2 draw by visiting Salernitana last weekend.