Soccer: Balotelli back with a bang
Italy forward regains lethal penalty touch02 October, 17:36
The 23-year-old is currently serving a three-match ban for abusing a referee, but he was eligible for Milan's Champions League clash at Ajax and regained his lethal touch with penalties to earn his side a precious 1-1 draw.
He converted a generously awarded stoppage-time spot-kick, his first after his run of 21 successful penalties was broken when he missed one in Milan's 2-1 defeat to Napoli last month.
But the behaviour of the striker, whose career has been dogged by controversy and indiscipline, also seemed to suggest he has not learned any lessons from the latest in a long series of lengthy suspensions.
He was clearly angry that a series of fouls on him were not punished by yellow cards on Tuesday and got himself booked with a rash challenge.
He also took a provocative attitude to the home fans in Amsterdam on Tuesday, raising his finger to his lips to shush them after scoring following some boos.
"Mario gave a good performance. He created some good situations and hit the crossbar (as well as scoring)," said Allegri.
"He just has to relax and be patient, even when he gets hit". Allegri is faced with an injury crisis and he can ill afford to lose his best player due to avoidable suspensions.
Balotelli is already set to miss next weekend's big match against Serie A champions Juventus, as Milan seek to recover from a poor start to the season.
The seven-time European champions are ninth in Serie A with eight points from six games, 10 behind leaders AS Roma.
They are second in Champions League Group H with four points from two games, two behind leaders Barcelona.
Last week Allegri joined the many coaches to have appealed for Balotelli to grow up.
"Mario Balotelli isn't a kid anymore, he's 23 years old, and he has to change," Allegri said.
"He has the potential to be a world-class player but he has to change his attitude to referees," he said, adding that his player would probably "get better protection" from refs if he did.
Balotelli risks not being called up for Italy's next game in accordance with the code of conduct coach Cesare Prandelli has imposed on the national team and applied by dropping Balotelli and other players in the past.
Allegri said he was "confident" Balotelli would not endanger his prospects of playing in next year's World Cup.