Balotelli bags brace

Maverick striker Mario Balotelli flew straight into another storm as he made his AC Milan debut yesterday, even if it was not directly of his making.

Balotelli, playing three days after completing his move from Manchester City, scored twice in the 2-1 win over Udinese after being included in the starting line-up at the last minute following an injury to Giampaolo Pazzini in the warm-up.

The second goal, a penalty converted three minutes into stoppage time, came amid furious protests from the visitors who claimed there was nothing wrong with Thomas Heurtaux's tackle on Stephan El Shaaraway.

El Shaaraway fell theatrically to the ground, rolling over at least three times, to win the penalty and the referee was surrounded by furious Udinese players after blowing the final whistle immediately after Balotelli's goal.

Balotelli, playing for the club he supported during his boyhood, said he needed more match practice.

"I'm happy but I need to train to improve my fitness level," he said.

"I wasn't supposed to start but it worked out well for me."