MILAN, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Mario Balotelli scored a stunning long-range goal as AC Milan beat Bologna 1-0 at home on Friday.
The Milan side struggled to create clear-cut chances against a stubborn Bologna defence on Friday until Balotelli's genius flashed with four minutes from time.
The Italy international sent the ball flying into the top corner with a superb strike from 40 meters, leaving visiting keeper Gianluca Curci with no chance.
"I looked at the goalkeeper and saw he was a little off his line, so I hit it with full force and fortunately it went in," said Balotelli after the game.
"It's a good goal. The coach gives me confidence, as I am the one who has to pull the team forward and therefore it's my duty to score these goals," he added.
Milan head coach Clarence Seedorf was not surprised by Balotelli's incredible winner.
"It's the kind of goal Mario knows how to score, as he has these weapons in his armoury," he said.
"The great thing is that the team continues to believe in the result, as you don't score goals like that unless you believe," he said.
Milan dominated possession in the first half but just could not create any clear-cut chances, and they needed Christian Abbiati to prevent Rene Krhin's goalbound header to keep the scores level at the interval.
Bologna twice came close to breaking the deadlock with Jonathan Cristaldo's half-volley going narrowly wide before Abbiati's fine stop denied Lazaros Christodoulopoulos.
But it was Balotelli who delighted the home crowd after a below- par Milan performance, with his 10th league goal of season enough to lift them to ninth in the table, while 16th-placed Bologna remain four points above the drop zone.
Bologna head Davide Ballardini was left shell-shocked by Balotelli's goal which denied their one point.
"It was a very good performance until Balotelli's goal, as we also created important scoring opportunities and didn't allow Milan any," he said.
"Milan have the kinds of players who can decide a match at any moment. I am very angry at the result," he added.