|45. (24’)||66. (54’)|
|45. (90 + 3’)|
Balotelli debut ends in Milan win
Mario Balotelli got his Milan career off to a great start when he bagged a brace to record a 2-1 win over Udinese on his debut, seeing Milan move up to fourth place.
Inter’s poor run on the road saw them fall to a 3-1 defeat to Siena, leaving Milan in the perfect position to move up to fourth place with a win on the night.
Mario Balotelli initially wasn’t included in the starting line-up but injury to Giampaolo Pazzini in the warm-up saw him make his return to the San Siro for the first time since 2010.
Known for his sporadic moments of brilliance, the controversial striker nearly put Milan a goal up, inside the first minute, when he dribbled to the box before unleashing a shot which inched past the far post.
If things had gone according to plan, it could have been 2-0 just 12 minutes in. Balotelli lay on a ball to Mbaye Niang on the edge of the box, who run into the box and tried to blast the ball over Daniele Padelli but the shot-stopper did well to block it.
It seemed as if it was written in the stars for Balotelli and Milan when he handed the Rossoneri the lead in the 24th minute.
It was a well worked display by the Italian internationals on the field; in which Riccardo Montolivo unleashed a ball to Stephan El Shaarawy, who ran to the byline and crossed it in. It then met Balotelli who blasted it into the back of the net with a powerful strike.
Just before the break, Mathieu Flamini failed to meet the ball at the far post while on the other end of the field; Antonio Nocerino did well to fend off a dangerous Udinese attack.
Despite being totally outrun by their opponents, Francesco Guidolin made no changes at the start of the second half and it paid its dividends when they found the equalizer in the 54th minute.
It was Luis Muriel who supplied a ball to Giampiero Pinzi before he did well to lob the ball over Marco Amelia and into the goal.
It was a comedy of errors in the 62nd minute, when Amelia poorly rolled the ball towards Montolivo, who fumbled on his own feet, allowing for Gabriel Silva to gather and try an audacious lob in which he fired into the stands.
Massimiliano Allegri knew that they couldn’t afford to drop points and he opted to go with an all out attack when he brought on Bojan Krkic in place of Nocerino, six minutes later.
The best chance of the half fell to Niang, with less than 15 minutes to be played, when he cracked a whip on the volley but it blasted against the crossbar, leaving the home crowd with their hearts’ in their mouths.
It seemed the game was destined to be a 1-1 affair when Balotelli’s free-kick was excellently dealt with by Padelli who pushed away the striker’s curling set-piece.
The Zebrette were left fuming when they had a penalty decision go against them in the second minute of stoppage time, after El Shaarawy went to ground under dubious circumstances.
Balotelli stood up to take the spot-kick and he made no error in converting the strike, giving Milan the three points.