Balotelli scores 2 as Milan beats Udinese 2-1

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 3, 2013 at 5:23 pm •  Published: February 3, 2013
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ROME (AP) — Mario Balotelli marked his return to Serie A by scoring both goals — including the winner in added time — in AC Milan's 2-1 win over Udinese on Sunday.

Balotelli gave Milan the lead in the 25th minute at the San Siro by redirecting a cross from Stephen El Shaarawy at the edge of the box with one touch. Then after Giampiero Pinzi had brought Udinese level in the 55th, Balotelli put Milan back in front with a 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.

Earlier Sunday, Juventus won 2-1 at Chievo Verona to move three points clear of Napoli again.

Juventus striker Alessandro Matri scored 10 minutes in at the Bentegodi stadium with a spectacular volley and midfielder Stephan Lichtsteiner doubled the lead in the 42nd after receiving a backheel pass from Sebastian Giovinco.

Cyril Thereau pulled one back for Chievo in the 52nd.

On Saturday, Napoli beat Catania 2-0 to provisionally draw level with Juventus, marking the first time in 23 years the southern club had been in first place at this point in the season.

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