FOOTBALL - ITALY

AC Milan happy with Beckham's first outing

AC Milan boss Adriano Galliani has expressed his satisfaction with David Beckham's debut performance following the team's 2-2 draw with Roma. The former England captain is on loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy for two months.

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AFP - AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani congratulated former England captain David Beckham following the midfielder's workmanlike debut for the club in the 2-2 draw at AS Roma.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star was taken off with a minute to go of the Serie A encounter after giving an industrious performance on the right side of a three-man midfield having made a surprise start.

"It went a lot better than we expected," said Galliani of the on-loan LA Galaxy man's first appearance.

However, the Milan chief was less pleased with his team as a whole as they failed to take advantage of leaders Inter Milan's slip at home to Cagliari (they drew 1-1), leaving them still third and nine points adrift.

"I was happy with the way we played yesterday (Sunday) but we have to concentrate harder because we have defensive problems away from home," he said.

"We have conceded one goal in our last four home matches and 11 in our last four away matches. We have to understand why."

Beckham also earned praise from his new team-mates including teenage Brazilian forward Pato, who scored both Milan goals in the draw but twice earned an earful from Beckham for failing to pick out the Englishman when he was well placed inside the area.

"He is certainly a better player than me, I'm happy he's come to Milan. Beckham's a great player," said Pato.

Veteran Dutch midfielder Clarence Seedorf also had words of encouragement.

"I think he did well, in the second half he did better than in the first," he said.

"Of course he needs to find his rhythm and get to know us but I think he can be very satisfied with his first game.

"He's an intelligent player and he's already adapted. His positioning was good so I don't see him having any problems."

Thirty-three-year-old Beckham for his part was also satisfied with his outing.

"I enjoyed it immensely, I was surprised to start the game but I was given the chance and I really enjoyed it," he said.

"The majority of the players speak very good English and football is an easy language to learn."

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