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Beckham scores first goal in AC Milan romp

DAVID Beckham scored his first goal for AC Milan in a 4-1 victory over Bologna, while Inter coach Jose Mourinho was sent from the dugout for arguing with the referee during the Serie A leader's 1-0 win over Sampdoria yesterday.

Beckham, who is on a three-month loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy and is due to return to Major League Soccer on March 9, scored in the 60th minute after being put into space by Alexandre Pato.

"To score my fist goal is great and I will keep this shirt, but the important thing is we won here today," Beckham said. "I think we played well, even when they went down to 10 men, we still played our game.

"The future? We'll have to see," Beckham added. "I want to enjoy my time with AC Milan, like I've always said. It's a fantastic experience and I'm having a great time."

Marco Di Vaio gave Bologna an early lead with his 15th goal of the season, converting a penalty after Paolo Maldini brought down Christian Amoroso.

Clarence Seedorf quickly brought Milan level, turning in a rebound after goalkeeper Francesco Antonioli had saved a shot from Kaka.

Kaka then scored from the penalty spot in the 17th minute and added a long range strike before halftime. He was given a standing ovation by Milan's fans when he was taken off 20 minutes before the end.

Brazilian striker Adriano earned Inter a victory over Sampdoria that was marred by Mourinho's dismissal.

Adriano struck in first half injury time, volleying in a Maicon cross, as Mourinho watched from the stands after going too far in his protest with referee Domenico Celi over a foul on Inter midfielder Dejan Stankovic.

"We had a referee without experience and an observer who rules by fear," Mourinho said. "I left my technical area after a foul on Stankovic and it is worth a red card. It will make a nice photo on his office wall."

Inter leads the standings with 46 points, Juventus is second with 43, AC Milan is third on 40 and Genoa occupies fourth place with 36.

Overall it was an uninspiring performance from Mourinho's team, which badly missed the inspiration of suspended striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Sampdoria arrived at San Siro prepared to defend and to play for a draw. Despite needing an equalizer in the second half, it was unable to create any serious scoring chances until the very end, when Julio Cesar had to be alert to stop Daniele Dessena's shot.

Stankovic and Sulley Muntari both tried their luck from long range in the second half, but their efforts never looked likely to extend Inter's lead.
From the team's point of view, Mourinho was satisfied with the outcome.

"Now I am happy, we moved on and got three points," he said. "It was a difficult match and I'm pleased with the way we've played. We wanted to play well and get through this tough period."

Roma faced few problems at Napoli and moved into the European qualification places for the first time this season with a 3-0 win.

Central defenders Philippe Mexes and Juan scored near identical headers from David Pizarro crosses and they were untroubled throughout the match by Napoli's strike pair of Marcelo Zalayeta and Ezequiel Lavezzi.

Roma's Mirko Vucinic sealed the result in the second half, capitalizing on hesitation in Napoli's defense to score from Alberto Aquilani's through pass.

"It's an important victory. It was difficult, a stadium where few teams have won. No one except for us last year," Roma captain Daniele De Rossi said. "Also the other teams' results have been good for us.

"If we had come here at the start of the season we would probably have taken a couple of blows, but we are a good team and when we are in good condition we can win anywhere."

In Rome, Lazio lost 4-1 to Cagliari despite making a perfect start when captain Tommaso Rocchi put them ahead in the third minute. However, that spurred Cagliari into action and they hit back with four goals before halftime.

Brazilian striker Jeda scored two quick goals to put Cagliari into the lead and strike partner Robert Aquafresca held his nerve to score from the penalty spot after Lazio goalkeeper Juan Carrizo had brought down Michele Fini.

Alessandro Matri added the fourth just before halftime.

In the second half, both Rocchi and Mauro Zarate missed penalties and substitute Fabio Firmani was sent off for protesting.

Lazio coach Delio Rossi did little to hide his anger, saying his team deserved the supporters' whistles as they walked off the field.

"Taking nothing away from Cagliari's great performance, Lazio simply weren't there," Rossi said. "We gave away four goals and it could have been double if they hadn't made mistakes."

Also yesterday, it was: Genoa 1, Catania 1; Lecce 3, Torino 3; Palermo 3, Udinese 2; and Siena 1, Atalanta 0.


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