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1 vs 0
Played
January 20, 2014 1:15 AM IST
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza — Milano
Referee:‬ M. Bergonzi‎
Attendance:‬ 30953‎
 
82′ (PG) Mario Balotelli
 
Top of the Match
Rômulo
Rômulo
Verona
Kaká
Kaká
Milan
Flop of the Match
Alejandro González
Alejandro González
Verona
Alejandro González
Alejandro González
Verona

AC Milan 1-0 Verona: Balotelli gives Seedorf opening game win

The Italy striker fired home a second-half penalty as the Rossoneri's new coach began his reign in charge with a victory

By Stefan Coerts

Mario Balotelli fights for the ball Milan Verona Serie A
Getty Images
A Mario Balotelli penalty ensured Clarence Seedorf got off to a winning start in charge of AC Milan as they beat Verona 1-0 on Sunday.

Balotelli slotted to the left of goalkeeper Rafael from the spot in the 82nd minute on Sunday, after Alejandro Gonzalez brought down Kaka with a clumsy challenge.

Seedorf – who spent a decade with the Rossoneri as a player between 2002 to 2012 – was appointed this week to replace the sacked Massimiliano Allegri.

The former Netherlands international immediately made his mark with six changes, headlined by Keisuke Honda's first Serie A start, while Verona were without in-form striker Luca Toni (flu) and Jorginho following his transfer to Napoli on Saturday.

The San Siro crowd roared their approval throughout the early stages, as an energised Milan started brightly.

Rafael reacted quickly to cut out an Urby Emanuelson ball destined for Balotelli, while the former Manchester City forward dragged a shot wide when played in by Kaka in the 14th minute.

Honda's first touch then let him down following an excellent Mattia De Sciglio cross, but the interplay between Kaka and the Japanese star continued to create chances, as Balotelli fired over over the crossbar.

The visitors offered little, but Juan Manuel Iturbe did curl a free-kick narrowly over at the other end as Milan's intensity briefly dropped off.

However, the hosts kept peppering the Verona goal and Balotelli had a powerful effort saved by a diving Rafael before Domenico Maietta cleared a spilled free-kick to keep out Kaka.

Riccardo Montolivo fired wide just before the break, but the away side were more composed after the interval and offered reminders of their threat on the break, mainly through Iturbe.

Substitute Raphael Martinho had a flicked effort smartly saved by Christian Abbiati and the game opened up in the final 25 minutes as Milan looked to turn the screw, with Robinho's strike – which took a wicked deflection off Maietta – agonisingly hitting the woodwork.

Seedorf's wait for the first goal of his reign continued as Balotelli and Robinho both shot straight at Rafael, while Iturbe's long-range effort forced a quick reaction from Abbiati.

But with nine minutes to go, Gonzalez gave Milan the chance to win with his poor challenge, and the ice-cold Balotelli made no mistake.



Milan

32
Christian Abbiati
Goalkeeper
3.50
2
3.50
17
Cristian Zapata
Defender
3.50
25
Daniele Bonera
Defender
52′
3.00
18
Riccardo Montolivo
Midfielder
79′
3.50
28
Urby Emanuelson
Midfielder
2.50
34
Nigel De Jong
Midfielder
3.00
7
Robinho
Striker
78′
3.50
10
Keisuke Honda
Striker
63′
3.50
22
Kaká
Midfielder
3.50
45
4.00

Verona

3.50
1
Rafael
Goalkeeper
3.50
18
3.00
22
2.00
23
2.50
33
4.00
2
Rômulo
Midfielder
2.50
10
3.50
14
3.00
8
3.50
15
2.50
21
Juanito
Striker

Substitutes

35
 - 
59
Gabriel
Goalkeeper
 - 
5
 - 
4
Adil Rami
Defender
 - 
26
2.50
81
 - 
14
Valter Birsa
Midfielder
63′
3.00
16
Andrea Poli
Midfielder
 - 
-
 - 
24
 - 
37
3.50

Substitutes

 - 
12
Nícolas
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
Daniele Borra
Goalkeeper
 - 
3
 - 
-
 - 
25
 - 
29
 - 
-
 - 
5
Massimo Donati
Midfielder
3.50
6
Martinho
Midfielder
61′
 - 
11
 - 
30
Marco Donadel
Midfielder
90′

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Ciro Immobile Ciro Immobile
Striker
Torino
19 0
Carlos Tévez Carlos Tévez
Striker
Juventus
18 1
Gonzalo Higuaín Gonzalo Higuaín
Striker
Napoli
17 5
Luca Toni Luca Toni
Striker
Hellas Verona
17 2
Rodrigo Palacio Rodrigo Palacio
Striker
Inter
15 0