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Beckham plays 89 minutes in AC Milan debut

Beckham plays 89 minutes in AC Milan debut

David Beckham was given a surprising starting nod in his official AC Milan debut against AS Roma on Sunday and played 89 minutes, contributing with a solid _ if not outstanding _ performance.
Beckham was replaced by Mathieu Flamini in the 89th minute with the score 2-2.
The night, however, belonged to Mirko Vucinic and Alexandre Pato, who each scored twice _ Vucinic for Roma and Pato for Milan.
Beckham joined Milan on a two-month loan spell from the Los Angeles Galaxy, hoping to maintain his form and be called to England's national team by coach Fabio Capello.
Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti said Saturday that it would be "difficult" to start the former Manchester United and Real Madrid player because he had been inactive for two months. However, he lined him up nonetheless in his traditional spot on the right wing, leaving Flamini and Massimo Ambrosini on the bench at the start.
Wearing No. 32, Beckham was positioned alongside Andrea Pirlo and Clarence Seedorf in midfield _ with Kaka, Ronaldinho and Pato up front in attack.
The 80,000-seat Stadio Olimpico was nearly full. Although there was no sign of Capello, Italy coach Marcello Lippi did attend.
Beckham began the game in a largely defensive role. He came forward for Milan's first free kick five minutes in, but Ronaldinho took it instead and banged the ball into Roma's wall.
Beckham's first significant contribution came in the 13th, when he set up Kaka with a long pass that curled around a defender, although Kaka quickly lost possession.
In the 20th, Beckham stole the ball from Vucinic and again sent Milan forward to no avail.
Two minutes later, Vucinic took a pass from John Arne Riise and scored from within the area as Milan defenders Giuseppe Favalli and Marek Jankulovski looked on helplessly.
Beckham took his first free kick in the 41st from the right of Roma's area, near the sideline _ a perfect position for his famous right foot _ but his kick was headed away by Roma.
A minute later, Beckham came across to take a corner from the left, and his low attempt was again headed away by Roma.
Beckham came back out for the second half and Milan equalized in the 48th, with Pato tapping in a cross from Kaka as Roma waited for an offside call that never came.
Beckham took another corner from the left in the 51st and put the ball on Ronaldinho's foot by the far post but the Brazilian volleyed high.
Pato put Milan ahead in the 53rd, dribbling past Roma's defense on a counterattack and chipping the ball over goalkeeper Alexander Doni for his eighth score of the season.
Beckham took another corner in the 66th, and passed a short ball to Seedorf, who then gave it back to the Englishman and Beckham put a shot toward the target that Doni had little trouble handling in front of the post.
Ambrosini came on for Ronaldinho in the 70th and Vucinic scored again a minute later, heading in a bouncing ball inside the area.
Beckham exited mostly to boos from the Roma crowd.


Updated : 2021-10-18 15:43 GMT+08:00