Both Carpi and Internazionale had something to prove coming into Sunday night's game.
The visitors had an opportunity to be top of the league following their 1-0 win at home vs. Atalanta, while Carpi found themselves 5-0 down before half time away at Sampdoria before eventually clawing back two goals.
Under Fabrizio Castori, the home side will have been looking to turn doubters into believers with a good performance in their home opener against an Inter side that has undergone a major overhaul through the investment of Erick Thohir.
They would be without 2014-15 Capocannoniere joint winner Mauro Icardi, who incurred an injury in the warm up a week ago and was substituted early in the game as a precaution.
Carpi lined up in a 3-5-2 with a back three of Letizia, Bubnjic and Gaglioli; Spolli left out following the Sampdoria match.
An even beginning
The home side started the game on the front foot, forcing the Inter full-backs to defend close to the corners of the pitch as the wing-backs pressed high and gave Inter problems.
Geoffrey Kondogbia picked up an early knock and received treatment on th sideline, but thankfully for the Nerazzurri was quickly re-introduced as Lorenzo Lollo shot straight at Handanovic.
In the 10th minute Rodrigo Palacio latched onto a long throw before having his cross turned behind for a corner, from which Juan Jesus hit a thunderbolt straight at Brkic from outside the box.
From that point Carpi struggled to get in the game; Inter enjoying a period of possession as they probed the hosts' backline.
Inter had a handball appeal turned down in the 16th minute as a cross from the left wasn't properly dealt with by Carpi, but the referee waved the appeals away.
Jovetic makes an immediate impact
After the game had descended into a period of relative lull, it was Inter who got the lead with a suckerpunch goal.
Captain Fredy Guarin put a testing ball in behind the back line, and after a mix-up between 'keeper and defender the ball fell to Stevan Jovetic, who made a two goals from two with a tap in from three yards.
Inter proceeded to control the ball well and probe, but Carpi stood firm. The possession stat read 72% in favour of the visitors leading up to the break.
Carpi should have levelled the game four minutes before half time. Their tactic of getting in behind the Inter defence was proving effective; Kamil Wilcek receiving the back-heel lay-off from Matos and shooting straight at Handanovic via a deflection.
The Slovenian stood tall and parried away, while a free-kick from Lollo a minute later didn't test him.
At half time it was Carpi 0-1 Inter. The blue-and-black had capitalised on a moment of fortune to register the only tally, yet Mancini would have been demanding more from his side at the break.
Fabrizio Castori will have been picking his side up at the break; they were lacking the killer ball and their tactic of trying to curl balls in behind the defence was just starting to cause issues.
Inter start the strong after the break
Inter came out from the break with energy and could have doubled their lead when Palacio crossed and Brozovic had a shot deflected wide from 18 yards.
Rodrigo Palacio dragged a shot wide in the 6th minute of the second half as the Nerazzurri continued to dictate the game.
Riccardo Gagliolo made a vital clearance fom a dangerous Santon delivery in the 58th minute as the ball was tantalisingly close to drifting in the bottom corner.
Jeison Murillo headed a corner narrowly over as chances became few and far between; Inter wishing to protect their lead and Carpi not committing men forward in order to stay in the game until the final minutes.
Carpi notch up a shock equaliser
The approach worked for the home team as they levelled in the 81st minute. Gaetano Letizia directed a ball across goal that as stabbed home by substitute Di Gaudio sending the home fans into raptures.
It was such a big goal for the white-and-red as they looked on course to notch a first point in the 2015-16 Serie A season.
Hernanes looped a header through to Palacio with three minutes of normal time left, although the Argentine took a touch when he should have shot first time and the chance disappeared.
Jovetic breaks Carpi hearts
However, the drama was not over, and the referee made a major call in the penultimate minute of the game. Guarin found space to run at the defence, and Gabriel Silva chopped him down, leaving referee Massa with no option but to award the penalty.
Stevan Jovetic stepped up, looking for his third goal in two games for Inter, and he converted easily to make it 2-1 to Mancini's side with just minutes left.
Juan Jesus should have sealed the game when he had time and space to shoot inside the box, however he pulled his effort wide with seconds left on the clock.
The final whistle went, signalling a cruel cruel end for Carpi who were brave and resilient throughout a testing 90 minutes.
They have a long road ahead in Serie A, and this was an illustration of just how harsh the league can be, after the game was lost in one lapse of concentration.
On the other end of the spectrum, Inter now had six points from six in a perfect start to the season. Given the last couple of seasons, any Inter fan would gladly accept the results rather than the method at this stage.
Carpi were bottom of the table after the result with a -4 goal difference, but will have been encouraged given how they competed today.
The visitors, meanwhile, sat third in the league with six points and a +2 goal difference as things are looking up for Jovetic and il Bauscia.