Jose Mourinho's Internazioinale side suffered an embarrassing draw on the opening weekend against Serie A new boys Bari while Milan took three Ronaldinho-inspired points at Siena.
The Brazilian was described as Milan's Usain Bolt in the summer by owner Silvio Berlusconi – presumably a reference to his charisma more than his pace – and it was Mourinho's champions who were slowest out of the blocks as day one of the new season nicely setting up this week's Milan derby.
Samuel Eto'o scored a penalty on his debut for Inter but the former Barcelona man missed from close range and Bari took advantage by stealing a point late-on through Vitali Kutuzov.
For Milan it was a case of no Kaka, no Carlo Ancelotti and no Paolo Maldini but plenty of Ronaldinho. They kicked-off their first season without three of the most important figures in their history but won thanks to the player Berlusconi had promised fans would step up to the plate in Kaka's absence. It's now or never for Ronaldinho with his compatriot Leonardo picking the team, with next year's World Cup on the horizon and with Kaka's sale to Real Madrid allowing him to play in his favoured position behind the strikers. He didn't disappoint.
The former Champions League winner made both goals for fellow Brazilian Pato and could have added a third – spinning on the edge of box before sending a bicycle kick over, as Milan were made to work hard in the Tuscan heat.
After Marek Janukulovski's goal had been ruled out for offside Milan took the lead on the half hour when Ronaldinho sent Pato through to score the first. Abdelkader Ghezzal equalised for Siena but three minutes into the second half Ronaldinho's pass sent Mathieu Flamini down the right to cross for Pato to score the second.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar will return from suspension to make his debut next week in the derby and with the former Real Madrid and Ajax striker sharing the goals burden with Pato, and Ronaldinho pulling the strings behind maybe pessimistic pre-season prophecies that the team that will struggle to stay in the top four will not be fulfilled.
One man who looks to have no place in Leonardo's plans is Filippo Inzaghi. With Huntelaar unavailable it was Marco Borriello who played upfront with Pato and the 36-year-old Italian did not come off the bench.Reuse content