Milan: Diego Milito scored twice on his long-awaited return from injury as Inter Milan humbled promoted Serie A strugglers Sassuolo 7-0 on Sunday to go provisionally top of the table.
Argentinian striker Milito has been sidelined for the past seven months after suffering a horrific knee injury at the start of the year.
But a week after making Walter Mazzarri's squad for a 1-1 draw at home to Juventus, Milito made his first appearance since damaging his anterior cruciate ligament on February 14 when he replaced Rodrigo Palacio nine minutes into the second half.
Fellow Argentinian Palacio got Inter off the mark after only seven minutes at the Mapei stadium when he slid Yuto Nagatomo's perfect cross from the left flank past outstretched 'keeper Alberto Pomini.
Midfielder Saphir Taider then grabbed his maiden goal for Inter, firing a loose ball past Pomini in the 23rd minute.
And the French-born Algerian played a pivotal role in Inter's third when his header came off Raffaele Pucino for an own goal barely 10 minutes later.
Sassuolo showed brief promise after the break when former Inter midfielder Ezequiel Schelotto whipped in an inviting cross which flew past the boot of unmarked striker Simone Missiroli.
However Inter were soon back on the rampage. Three minutes later a Palacio drive was blocked by Pomini and Ricardo Alvarez was on hand to poke him Inter's fourth.
Milito replaced Palacio a minute later and soon made an impact, tapping the ball past the beaten Pomini after Alvarez had done well to get the ball to the striker yards from goal.
Esteban Cambiasso added to Sassuolo's woes when he fired a superb drive past the flailing home 'keeper from the edge of the penalty area in the 75th minute.
Milito capped a memorable return to the fray with his second after Fredy Guarin provided a perfect ball for the unmarked striker in the 83rd minute.
Inter now sit top with 10 points from four games although Roma, currently third on nine, will take the lead if they beat Lazio in the city derby on Sunday afternoon.
Napoli, who sat joint top with Roma prior to this weekend, are away to a depleted AC Milan side in Sunday's late game.