Super Mario scores TWICE on debut for Milan to seal win as sickening chants elsewhere in Italy tarnish Balotelli's return
21:16 GMT, 3 February 2013
21:44 GMT, 3 February 2013
Mario Balotelli marked his Milan debut with a goal in each half to secure a 2-1 victory for his new club.
The controversial striker started up front for the club he supported as a child as they welcomed Udinese in the Serie A clash.
The 22-year-old, who completed a 19.5million move away from Manchester City on deadline day, peeled off his man as Stephan El Shaarawy jinked his way down the left.
In the goals: Mario Balotelli scored the opener for Milan as they pulled ahead of Udinese
After the cross deflected into his path, Balotelli hooked in a volley from close range to give the hosts the lead.
After Giampiero Pinzi levelled up the match, it looked as though Balotelli and his team-mates would have to settle for a home draw. That was until El Shaarawy was awarded a soft penalty decision.
The Milan forward surged into the box in the third minute of stoppage time before hitting the deck under what appeared to be a fair tackle.
Balotelli kept up his 100 per cent record from the spot – after performing a few kick-ups before setting the ball down – and rolled the ball into the bottom left corner, sending Daniele Padelli the wrong way.
But the Italy international's arrival was met with derision elsewhere in the country, as fans in the Chievo-Juventus clash earlier in the day sang sickening songs which joked about the striker's death.
The travelling Juventus supporters chanted 'If we jump Balotelli will die' several times throughout that match, which the Turin side won 2-1 to go top of Serie A.
In the thick of it: Danilo tries to get to grips with the new Milan striker
Making friends: Balotelli thanked his international team-mate Stephan El Shaarawy, who set up his goal
It was not the first time that Balotelli has been targeted by opposition fans – in January 2010 authorities ordered Juventus to close a section of their Olympic stadium for one match after racist chants were aimed at the former Manchester City striker.
Racism is still widespread in Italian football and the incident was one of the main reasons that Balotelli quit Serie A and headed to the Premier League where the problem has been largely eradicated – even though he scored on his debut he will still be a target for bigoted fans something he didn't experience in Britain.
Iconic: Balotelli wears the No 45, as he did for Manchester City
Marred: Elsewhere, supporters at the Juventus v Chievo clash chanted sickening songs about Balotelli
Another familiar face: Nicolas Anelka was on the bench for Juventus