ROME — Carlos Bacca scored a hat trick and 17-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma saved a penalty in added time as AC Milan opened its season in dramatic style with a 3-2 win over Torino and former coach Sinisa Mihajlovic on Sunday.
A Colombia international who recently turned down offers to leave Milan, Bacca put the Rossoneri ahead with a diving header and then restored the Rossoneri’s advantage two minutes after Andrea Belotti had equalized for Torino.
Bacca converted a penalty shortly after the hour mark to complete the first hat trick on the Italian league’s opening weekend since David Trezeguet achieved the feat with Juventus against Livorno in 2007.
"I did the finishing but everyone contributed to the success, from the coach to the players and all of the fans," Bacca said.
Bacca nearly scored a fourth but goalkeeper Daniele Padelli stuck his boot out to stop his effort.
Daniele Baselli pulled one back for Torino in added time and then Donnarumma leapt to his left to stop Belotti’s penalty.
It was a successful debut for new Milan coach Vincenzo Montella, as the cash-strapped Rossoneri anxiously await the completion of the club’s sale to a group of Chinese investors.
Inter Milan, which has already been taken over by Chinese retail giant Suning, lost 2-0 at Chievo Verona. Valter Birsa scored both goals for the home side.
Inter’s preparations were slowed by the departure of Roberto Mancini less than two weeks before the season starts, with new manager Frank de Boer having to make a quick transition.
Elsewhere, Napoli fell behind 2-0 at promoted Pescara before Dries Mertens scored twice in the second half to rescue a 2-2 draw, while Mattia Destro finished off a late counterattack as Bologna beat Crotone 1-0 in the promoted Calabrian club’s first ever Serie A match.
In other games, it was: Atalanta 3, Lazio 4; Empoli 0, Sampdoria 1; Genoa 3, Cagliari 1; and Palermo 0, Sassuolo 1.
Domenico Berardi converted a penalty for Sassuolo, giving him five goals in four matches in all competitions this season, including four in the Europa League.
In Milan, Bacca’s opener was set up with a superb cross from Ignazio Abate.
Belotti then rose between two Milan defenders to find the target with an accurate header.
Bacca used an expert control and a shot from the centre of the area for his second, following a cross from M’Baye Niang near the corner flag. He celebrated by curling his fingers into the shape of a heart.
After Giacomo Bonaventura drew the penalty, Niang first stepped up to take the spot kick — but then Bacca took the ball and drilled a shot into the centre of the goal as Padelli went to his right.
Bacca said he had to realize a dream of his son.
"Niang wanted to take the penalty but the coach had tapped me and I had confidence," Bacca said. "I have to excuse myself with Niang but I had to give my son his dream."
The match seemed to have been decided after Baselli’s goal but Milan defender Gabriel Paletta tugged down Belotti inside the area and was sent off with his second yellow card.
However, Belotti’s ensuing spot kick six minutes into stoppage time was low enough for Donnarumma to get his hands on, setting off celebrations at the San Siro.
It was the first penalty Donnarumma has saved in five chances in Serie A.