Balotelli helps Milan to comeback win

Mario Balotelli helped AC Milan to beat 10-man Catania 3-1 on Sunday as Massimiliano Allegri’s men enjoyed their first win in six Italian league matches.

Milan dominated possession but it was Catania that took the lead in the 13th minute against the run of play as poor defending eventually saw Lucas Castro’s effort deflected over stand-in goalkeeper Gabriel.

The visitors leveled six minutes later when Riccardo Montolivo volleyed Urby Emanuelson’s cross into the back of the net.

Balotelli had gone six matches in all competitions without a goal before Tuesday’s 3-0 win at Celtic, but he was involved in most Milan moves and fired his side in front shortly after the hour mark with a low free kick.

Moments later Catania were down to 10 men when Panagiotis Tachtsidis was harshly shown a straight red for a challenge on Balotelli.

Kaka sealed the match nine minutes from time, bursting into the box and firing into the roof of the net from a tight angle to score for the third successive match. It was his 99th Milan goal.

Milan moved provisionally level with eighth-placed Lazio. Catania remains at the bottom of the league.

There was another positive for Milan as Stephan El Shaarawy made his return from injury, coming on in the 74th minute for his first appearance in three months.

Balotelli was replaced seven minutes from time after getting into a heated argument with Catania defender Nicolas Spolli, who he accused of racism.