Serie A leaders Inter Milan head to rock-bottom Empoli on Sunday after their flying start to the season came to an end in the Champions League on Wednesday.

The Nerazzurri opened their campaign with four victories from as many league games, scoring 13 goals and conceding just one – in a 5-1 thrashing of champions AC Milan last weekend.

Their first match in the Champions League – the competition in which they finished as runners-up last term – then saw them draw 1-1 at Real Sociedad thanks to a late equaliser from skipper Lautaro Martinez.

Martinez scores against Real Sociedad (Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

The Argentina forward, for whom it was a sixth goal of the season, emphasised the need for improvement.

“We didn’t play well,” Martinez said in quotes on Inter’s official website.

“We started poorly and struggled; we could have done better. I don’t think it was down to fatigue.

“This is how Real Sociedad play; they pushed high up the pitch, and we didn’t attack the space well. We were getting caught in possession close to our area, and we need to be better with our build-up play from the back.

“It’s important that we didn’t lose, and we did well to stay in the game. We really pushed to score an equaliser, but we didn’t play like we can. We need to raise our level.”

Simone Inzaghi’s men face an Empoli outfit who are yet to register a point or score a goal across their opening four league games, and sacked boss Paolo Zanetti after a 7-0 thrashing at Roma last Sunday.

The experienced Aurelio Andreazzoli has been brought in as Zanetti’s replacement, the 69-year-old signing a one-year contract with an option for a further season.

It is a fourth spell in charge at the club for Andreazzoli, who told a press conference: “I’m here with great enthusiasm. Empoli is an environment that I like and in which I feel good.

“I know the players and the team well from the outside, now I will evaluate from the inside.

“The general impression is that of a team that has the potential to express itself.

“The numbers are not comforting now but the journey is long, we are at the first step and then we will see which direction to take.

“The kids want to express themselves and we will try to put them in a position to do so without burdens. Everything that has happened has happened, we must look forward with enthusiasm.”

Andreazzoli’s first stint with Empoli saw him guide them to promotion from Serie B in 2017-18, and he kept them up in the top flight in 2021-22.