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The striker scored the only goal of the game Sunday and is hoping the result can kick start a strong finish to the season under Milan's new coach.

Mario Balotelli has dedicated AC Milan's 1-0 win over Hellas Verona on Sunday to new coach Clarence Seedorf, who took charge of his first game as Rossoneri boss.

Milan was made to work hard to overcome the newly promoted side, with the Italy international's late penalty settling a tense affair.

The forward is delighted with the result and is hoping it can kick start a strong run in the second half of the season.

"My thumbs up towards the coach? Yes, it is a victory that we dedicate to him," he told Sky after the match. "It was the first game, obviously it was a difficult situation. We were very well organized and played very well.

"Hopefully [it can be a turning point]. Starting well is half of the battle."

AC Milan's next Serie A game is a home clash with Udinese on January 22.

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