Balotelli, Kaka steer Milan to victory
Mario Balotelli rifled in a second-half free kick and Kaka was also on target to lift troubled AC Milan to a 3-1 win at bottom club Catania in Serie A on Sunday, ending a chaotic week for the seven-time European champions.
AS Roma salvaged their unbeaten record when Kevin Strootman scored in the last minute to give them a 1-1 draw at Atalanta and Inter Milan were on the wrong end of a late goal in another 1-1 draw at home to Sampdoria.
Roma’s fourth successive draw pulled them level on 34 points with leaders Juventus, who host Udinese in a later match
Milan’s first away win in Serie A this season ended a winless five-match run in the league, although they had to come from behind to do it.
Catania stunned Milan when Lucas Castro scored with a shot which deflected off Daniel Bonera’s back in the 13th minute but Riccardo Montolivo levelled six minutes later for the injury-plagued visitors.
Balotelli missed a free header on the hour but atoned three minutes later when he blasted a low free kick through the Catania wall to put Milan ahead.
Kaka made the game safe when he broke down the right and lashed a right-foot shot into the roof of the net with nine minutes left.
Catania had Panagiotis Tachtsidis sent off for a wild lunge at Balotelli who shortly afterwards was also involved in a furious row with Nicolas Spolli, angrily pointing his finger at the Argentine before being restrained by his teammates.
Neither player was booked and Balotelli was substituted shortly afterwards.
Milan endured a troubled week off the field with chief executive Adriano Galliani announcing angrily on Friday that he was resigning after nearly 28 years at the club.
On Saturday, he changed his mind and agreed to stay on, sharing his role with club president Silvio Berlusconi’s daughter Barbara.
Roma, who won their first 10 matches, fell behind when Davide Brivio’s free kick found its way under the wall and caught and caught Roma goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis napping.
They were saved when Adem Ljajic got to the byline and pulled the ball back for Dutch midfielder Strootman to score from close range.
Colombian midfielder Fredy Guarin gave Inter a first-half lead, only for Renan to level for Sampdoria who have drawn both their games under new coach Sinisa Mihajlovic.