Beckham off the mark as Milan tear apart Bologna

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The Independent Football

David Beckham scored his first goal for Milan since arriving on loan from LA Galaxy in a comfortable 4-1 victory over 16th-placed Bologna at the Dall'Ara stadium yesterday.

The win moved Carlo Ancelotti's side to within three points of joint league leaders Internazionale – who were due to play Sampdoria last night – and Juventus.

The Brazilian Kaka, playing his first game since turning down a lucrative move to Manchester City, scored two after Clarence Seedorf had cancelled out an early Bologna penalty by Serie A's top scorer, Marco Di Vaio.

Beckham's goal came on the hour mark at the end of a sweeping counter-attack led by Brazilian striker Pato, who fed Seedorf. The Dutchman waited for Beckham to arrive on his right, allowing the unmarked Englishman to drive the ball in at the near post from 10 yards.

The goal was the highlight of a fine second-half performance from Beckham after a fairly anonymous opening period in which he fluffed a number of corners and free-kicks.

He was aided hugely by the sending-off in the 40th minute of Bologna midfielder, Gaby Mudingayi, who picked up a second yellow card after a body check on Pato.

Beckham found himself in acres of space after the interval and began spraying around his trademark diagonal passes, to the delight of the large contingent of travelling Milan supporters.

The performance is bound to further speculation that Beckham will try to secure a long-term deal with Milan and that the club will try to keep him.

Elsewhere, on a high-scoring day in Serie A, Roma beat Napoli 3-0 in Naples to join the Neapolitans in joint-fifth place on 33 points, while Lazio went down 4-1 at home to Cagliari.

Genoa held on to fourth place despite only managing a 1-1 draw at home to Catania.