AC Milan 2, Udinese 1

Balotelli scores twice on debut for Milan

February 3, 2013
By ESPN.com news services

Mario Balotelli signed off his AC Milan debut by scoring the winner with the last kick of the match as Udinese was defeated 2-1 amid controversial scenes at the San Siro Sunday.

AP Photo/Antonio CalanniMario Balotelli marked his return to Serie A by scoring both goals -- including this disputed game-winning penalty in added time -- in Milan's 2-1 win Sunday.

Balotelli gave Milan the lead in the 25th minute at the San Siro by redirecting a cross from Stephen El Shaarawy. Then after Giampiero Pinzi had brought Udinese level in the 55th, Balotelli put Milan back in front with a highly controversial penalty four minutes into injury time.

"Playing for Milan was my dream and I'll do everything possible to win in the face of those who thought I wasn't worthy of Milan," said Balotelli, who grew up cheering for the Rossoneri.

After cooly kicking in the winner, Balotelli held his arms out wide toward the crowd, as if saying, "Here I am."

"Balotelli is a first-rate star," said Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani, who orchestrated the Italy striker's transfer from Manchester City.

The win moved Milan level with its city rival and Balotelli's former club Inter Milan in fourth place, 12 points behind Italian league leader Juventus.

With the game deadlocked at 1-1, Balotelli snatched up the ball with glee when El Shaarawy won the suspicious penalty from Thomas Heurtaux in the final minute of injury time.

Despite Udinese's angry protestations -- Heurtaux appeared to make a clean tackle -- Balotelli kept his head from the spot to fire his new employers into fourth place in Serie A.

Information from Press Association and The Associated Press was used in this report.