Mario Balotelli scored twice on his return to the San Siro as AC Milan beat Udinese, 2-1, to move into a tie for fourth place in Serie A, alongside Inter, Balotelli’s former
club, which lost 3-1 at relegation-threatened Siena.
The former Manchester City striker was not supposed to start against Udinese, but did so anyway due to an injury to Giampaolo Pazzini in the warm-up. Balotelli’s first was a tidy finish to the near post from Stephan El Shaarawy’s deflected cross in the 29th minute. His second came from the spot in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
“He played very well and has some exceptional qualities, but then we all knew that,” Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said of Balotelli after the game. “I was also fortunate, as he wasn’t meant to start. He has to improve, seeing as he is only 22.”
While he was pleased with Balotelli’s debut, Allegri admitted that the late penalty, which won Milan the game, was cruel on Udinese. “It wasn’t a penalty,” he said. “We were lucky when it came to the referee’s decision. I am pretty honest when it comes to evaluating incidents and I will say that the Udinese player gets the ball. It’s certainly not a penalty that you can give.”