Giampaolo Pazzini scored twice as AC Milan ran out 2-1 winners against Bologna at the San Siro.

The Italian international told the official club website: “They’ve always shown faith in me and I’m happy when I can repay this faith.”

Despite a goalless first half, AC Milan picked up the pace in the second period, with debutant Mbaye Niang firing a warning from distance in the early stages.

With pressure and attacks building on the Bologna defence, Milan finally broke the deadlock with Pazzini’s deflected shot looping over keeper Federico Agilardi, giving the home side the lead.

After going ahead, the Rossoneri were not taking full advantage, and former West Ham midfielder Alessandro Diamanti came close on several occasions for Bologna at the other end.

However, Milan did extend their lead, with Pazzini scoring his tenth of the season, flicking the ball over the defender in the penalty box, before rifling it home.

The goalscorer added: “The second goal was better, but the first allowed us to open the game up.”

Despite a win looking comfortable, there was a nerve-wracking last five minutes, as Bologna pulled a goal back.

A cross was fired in from the left, met by the head of Cristian Pasquato, only for the ball to hit Milan full-back Philippe Mexes’ foot and fly past helpless keeper Christian Abbiati.

The win sees AC Milan rise to sixth, just five points from fourth place rivals Inter.

Pazzini even spoke after of his recent performances for AC Milan and opportunity to get back into the national side.

The former Internazionale striker said: “I hope I can continue to score big goals and help the team towards important objectives.

“I think a lot about the national team and if I score enough, the coach [Cesare Prandelli] will have to call me up.”

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