Under-pressure Milan coach Clarence Seedorf praised striker Mario Balotelli for his all-round display in the 2-0 victory over Fiorentina.
Milan arrived at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Wednesday unbeaten in seven visits since 2005, but in the middle of a wretched run of form. However, Seedorf’s men put on a vintage performance to run out comfortable winners.
Goals in each half from Frenchman Philippe Mexes and a stunning free-kick by Balotelli gave Milan a first win in six games in all competitions.
The controversial Balotelli was never far from the action and while he was booked for the 10th time in Serie A this season in the first half, he peppered the Fiorentina goal with several free-kicks and was a constant nuisance to the host’s defence.
Seedorf told Football Italia: “A centre-forward has to work going forward and back, so when his team goes too deep he needs to spread it wide to help the others come up.
“I asked Mario for intensity and in that sense he had a great game in both phases.
“We already knew he had talent and could take free-kicks like that, but I was most impressed by his consistency and intensity.”
Seedorf had been moved prior to the game to clarify that there was no rift between himself and vice-president Adriano Galliani, who again accompanied the side to the game, as he had at the 1-1 draw with Lazio on Sunday.
But the Dutch coach was delighted with his team’s performance having not won in the previous five games, as he added: “It was a wonderful victory, because the team really did well over the last few days to react with two positive results.
“Considering the performance, the three points were deserved, as we won against a great team that plays wonderful football.”