Mario Balotelli Scores Twice in Debut for AC Milan
Mario Balotelli completed his move back to Italy as the transfer deadline drew to a close at the end of January, and he marked his full debut for AC Milan by scoring the opening goal against Udinese after only 25 minutes.
Balotelli also scored a 93rd minute penalty to end his debut with two goals and win the match 2-1 for AC Milan, who move up to 40 points for the season.
Sporting his new No. 45 jersey for Milan, Balotelli was picked to lead the line with Stephan El Shaarawy and M'Baye Niang on either side of him in the attack.
Balotelli managed three shots in the first half against Udinese, who were four points behind Milan at the start of play. Milan themselves knew that a victory in this match at home would lift them into the top four places and ahead of Inter Milan, who suffered a 3-1 defeat at relegation-threatened Siena earlier in the day.
Former Inter striker Balotelli didn't take long to start repaying part of his £19 million move after El Shaarawy made space down the inside left channel and cut the ball back, via a deflection, to his new strike partner.
Balotelli held his ground on the edge of the six-yard box and half-volleyed confidently inside the near post, beating Daniele Padelli to make the score 1-0 to AC Milan.
Of course, there will be much expectation placed on the shoulders of the Italian international to provide these goals on a regular basis and not just on the special occasion of his Milan debut.
How well he is able to fulfill those expectations will go some distance to how Balotelli is judged overall, both as a successful signing and as a player who is making the most of the talent he clearly has.
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