Goal.com - Home

thumbnail Hello,
 
2 vs 1
Played
February 3, 2013 7:45 PM GMT
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza — Milano
Referee:‬ P. Valeri‎
Attendance:‬ 35152‎
 
90+4′ (PG) Mario Balotelli
 
Top of the Match
Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli
AC Milan
Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli
AC Milan
Flop of the Match
Muriel
Muriel
Udinese
Maurizio Domizzi
Maurizio Domizzi
Udinese

AC Milan 2-1 Udinese: Balotelli debut double seals controversial victory

The big money signing from Manchester City scored twice to cap a lively debut for the home side, who nevertheless benefited from a bad penalty call at the death to seal the win

By Keeghann Sinanan

Mario Balotelli (AC Milan - Udinese) Serie A
Getty
Mario Balotelli scored twice on his debut to help AC Milan to a 2-1 victory over Udinese at San Siro in Sunday's Serie A encounter.

All eyes were set firmly on the €22 million signing from Manchester City, who was thrust into the starting line-up at the last possible moment, but shortly after broke the deadlock with a close range volley to mark a dominant first half for the Rossoneri.

Though Udinese were toothless during the opening period, they came out with renewed vigour after the interval, and pounced on a shoddy defensive sequence to claw their way back into the game through Giampiero Pinzi early in the second half.

The match seemed destined to end in a draw, but a controversial late penalty call allowed Balotelli to give Milan an important victory with the last kick of the game from 12 yards out, and take them level with city rivals Inter in fourth place.

The feel-good factor surrounding Balotelli’s arrival had San Siro rocking long before kick-off, and perhaps inevitably, matters were whipped into a real frenzy with the news that a late injury to Giampaolo Pazzini forced the big money signing into the starting XI.

And, 35 seconds into his Milan debut, Balotelli came within inches of making the most incredible of starts after sending a shot from the edge of the area agonisingly wide of the far post, with half the fans already celebrating a goal.

The 22-year-old was certainly lively early on, and with 12 minutes gone, threatened in attack again when he slid in M’baye Niang 10 yards out, but his shot was straight at Daniele Padelli.

And Balotelli’s moment would arrive with 25 minutes on the clock. Stephen El Shaarawy did well to squeeze in a cross from the byline, and a deflection took it right into the path of the striker, who volleyed precisely into the bottom corner.

It was a one-man spectacle at San Siro throughout the first half, and shortly before the half-hour mark, Balotelli nearly struck again, this time with a sweetly-hit effort from 20 yards out that brought the very best out of Padelli.

Udinese were fortunate to still be in the game at half-time, but emerged from the interval with a renewed enthusiasm. A glorious ball from Andrea Lazzari was badly skewed over by Antonio Di Natale from close range, but with 55 minutes gone, the visitors would find their leveller.

Milan were caught napping after losing the ball in their own half, and Muriel, with acres of space ahead of him, slid in Pinzi, who bundled his finish past Marco Amelia and into the back of the net.

The Rossoneri had lost some of their edge, and Udinese were well and truly back into game, making matters finely poised as the match moved into the closing stages.

Niang smashed a thunderous effort off the crossbar, and Balotelli forced another admirable save from Padelli, but just when the draw looked a foregone conclusion, an incomprehensible penalty call on a legitimate tackle by Thomas Heurtaux on El Shaarawy allowed Balotelli to win the game from the spot in unforgettable, but controversial circumstances.



AC Milan

1
Marco Amelia
Goalkeeper
3.00
17
Cristian Zapata
Defender
3.50
20
Ignazio Abate
Defender
3.50
21
Kevin Constant
Midfielder
3.50
25
Daniele Bonera
Defender
2.50
-
Antonio Nocerino
Midfielder
68′
3.00
20
Mathieu Flamini
Midfielder
85′
3.00
18
Riccardo Montolivo
Midfielder
16′
3.00
11
 - 
9
M'Baye Niang
Striker
26′ 80′
4.00
92
4.00
45
5.00

Udinese

3.50
30
2.50
5
Danilo
Defender
3.00
8
2.00
11
3.00
34
3.00
75
3.50
3
Allan
Midfielder
92′
3.00
21
Andrea Lazzari
Midfielder
64′
3.00
66
2.50
10
2.00
9
Muriel
Striker
55′ 68′

Substitutes

32
 - 
-
Lazar Petkovic
Goalkeeper
 - 
33
Mario Yepes
Defender
 - 
3
 - 
81
 - 
4
Sulley Muntari
Midfielder
 - 
-
Bakaye Traoré
Midfielder
85′
 - 
21
 - 
7
Robinho
Striker
80′
2.50
-
2.50

Substitutes

 - 
-
 - 
22
Simone Scuffet
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
 - 
17
 - 
26
 - 
-
Marco Faraoni
Midfielder
 - 
22
M. Campos
Striker
2.50
37
 - 
-
 - 
94
 - 
-
 - 
70
Maicosuel
Midfielder

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
20 0
Luca Toni Luca Toni
Striker
Hellas Verona
18 2
Carlos Tévez Carlos Tévez
Striker
Juventus
18 1
Gonzalo Higuaín Gonzalo Higuaín
Striker
Napoli
17 5
Rodrigo Palacio Rodrigo Palacio
Striker
Inter
15 0