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August 24, 2009

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Home » Sports » Soccer

Pato brace fires Milan to opening win

ALEXANDRE Pato scored twice to lead AC Milan to a 2-1 victory over Siena on Saturday and give new coach Leonardo a winning start to the Italian Serie A season.

Milan had struggled in the preseason with seven losses in eight games, but Pato's goals in the 29th and 48th minutes provided a fairly comfortable win. Abdelkader Ghezzal had equalized for Siena in the 34th.

"We have won which is good, because we seemed to have forgotten how to," Pato said. "We had a great game and I have to thank my teammates for all the chances they made for me."

The 19-year-old Pato, who scored 15 goals last season, thought he had his first of this campaign with a header in the 22nd, but he was offside from Ronaldinho's free kick.

However, he made no mistake seven minutes later when played through by his fellow Brazilian, lifting the ball over Siena goalkeeper Gianluca Curci.

The lead didn't last long, as Marco Storari could only parry Lukas Jarolim's shot and Ghezzal hit home the rebound. But Pato put Milan back ahead for good after Ronaldinho picked out Mathieu Flamini in the area, who crossed to Pato for an easy tap-in into the unguarded net.

Ronaldinho showed that he wants to fill the big gap left by compatriot Kaka and seemed increasingly confident as the match wore on.

In Saturday's other match, Fiorentina's Adrian Mutu came off the bench to salvage a 1-1 draw at Bologna, which narrowly avoided the drop last term.

Bologna's Paolo Osvaldo had scored the first goal of the new season in the 24th minute.


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