Atletico beat Inter to lift Super Cup
Goals from Jose Antonio Reyes after 62 minutes and Sergio Aguero after 83 gave the Europa League winners an easier than expected win over the Italians who won the treble last season when they added the Champions League to their domestic double.
They also won the Italian Super Cup last week but their hopes of a fifth trophy this year never materialised.
Although defeat in the traditional curtain-raiser to the European club season is no calamity, Inter looked poor and Benitez admitted his new team needed to improve if they wanted to have any hope of repeating last season's successes.
"We started the game well with two or three chances and then we lost control. At the end it was too open," Benitez told RAI television.
"The tactics are not quite there, we've got to work harder. Today we've not seen the team we want."
Aguero told Spanish television: "It was nice to score but it's the team performance that counts and I hope we can carry it on into the league."
Reyes, who worked tirelessly alongside Diego Forlan up front for the spirited Spaniards and was named man of the match, added: "We have a great team and great supporters and have proved we can win titles."
Inter's disappointing night was completed when Diego Milito, who scored both goals when his side beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League final in Madrid in May, saw his 90th-minute penalty saved by Atletico keeper David de Gea.
Atletico's victory means that the winners of UEFA's secondary competition now lead the European champions 18-17 overall in Super Cup finals.
Their fans kept up an almost constant wall of sound and although the match petered out for a spell in the first half after a bright start, Atletico always looked livelier.
Both teams fielded 10 of the 11 starters who brought them European glory last season but Inter were a shadow of the side that lifted the European Cup under Jose Mourinho.
Samuel Eto'o looked out of sorts up front and the dynamism of Wesley Sneijder was lost with him playing in an unfamiliar advanced role.
Although they started well, Inter rarely raised a serious goal threat.
Sneijder went close in the opening minute with an angled shot over the bar and Eto'o had two efforts that went wide, but it was Atletico who looked more likely to score as the second half progressed.
Reyes, regaining his balance after a stumble, broke the deadlock with a near-post shot that eluded Julio Cesar after playing a one-two with Aguero.