Aug 21 (Reuters) – AC Milan’s new signing Christian Pulisic sparkled as they started the Serie A season with a 2-0 win at Bologna on Monday thanks in large part to the American who got their second goal.

The forward had a great start in Italy after arriving from a disappointing spell at Chelsea, contributing to Milan’s early opener from Olivier Giroud and then finding the net himself.

“I always knew Pulisic was a talent, this was never in doubt,” Milan manager Stefano Pioli told DAZN.”In the phone call I had with him before he signed it was evident that he was bringing a lot of quality to the squad.”

Pioli added that Milan, whose starting lineup included fellow new signings Tijjani Reijnders and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, did not put on an entirely flawless performance.

“We need to work more to find a better balance, but those who have arrived certainly know how to play football and that is a good place to start from,” he said.

“We only had four friendlies and this first game of the season so there´s work to be done but we’re on the right track.”

Bologna, eager to prove themselves without last season’s key striker Marko Arnautovic who has joined Inter Milan, started on the front foot with an effort from Charalampos Lykogiannis that rebounded off the crossbar.

But they were soon behind as Giroud struck after 11 minutes from close range following a move started by Pulisic’s cross-field pass.Milan extended their lead when the American fired home from outside the box following a one-two with Giroud.

The heat played a role in the match, leading Milan to spend their entire halftime break on the touchline at the Stadio Dall´Ara rather than in the warmer changing rooms.

“The locker room was impossible to stay in. It was about 60 degrees C (celsius) in there, so we preferred to spend halftime on the pitch,” Pioli said.

As the heat took its toll the intensity waned but Bologna were fortunate that Rafael Leao did not add a third near the end when his attempt bounced off the inside of the far post.(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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