Pato, Ronaldinho inspire Milan triumph

ROME: Brazilians Pato and Ronaldinho proved there is life after Kaka as they inspired AC Milan to a 2-1 victory at Siena in coach Leonardo’s opening Serie A match in charge of the Italian giants on Saturday.

Pato scored a brace but it was his Brazilian compatriot Ronaldinho who created both goals to help countryman Leonardo begin his reign with a win and instantly ease the pain felt by Kaka’s switch to Real Madrid.

Pato had the first clear chance of the game but his long range volley on 10 minutes was deflected behind for a corner. Ronaldinho was impressive playing in the hole behind Pato and Marco Borriello, orchestrating the play from the position where Kaka used to roam.

On 19 minutes Marek Jankulovski played a one-two with the Brazilian, who played him in on goal but the Czech could not beat Gianluca Curci from a tight angle. Minutes later Pato steered home a Ronaldinho free-kick but it was ruled out as he had strayed marginally offside.

A goal was coming, though, and it arrived on 29 minutes as Ronaldinho slipped in Pato, thanks in no small part to some inattentive defending, and the teenager fired across Curci into the bottom corner. The lead lasted only five minutes, though. Michele Fini’s cross into the box landed at Lukas Jarolim’s feet and the Czech was afforded time to shoot. Marco Storari kept out that effort but Abdelkader Ghezzal was on hand to fire the rebound into the roof of the net.

Milan were quick out of the blocks in the second half and Ronaldinho was again the architecht, playing Mathieu Flamini in behind the defence before the France midfielder squared to Pato for an easy tap-in. After Curci had tipped over Ronaldinho’s effort, Siena pushed forward and looked most likely to score but Storari kept out Daniele Ficagna’s header.