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David Beckham scored his first goal at the San Siro in front of England coach Fabio Capello on Wednesday night but it was not enough to help AC Milan defeat battling Genoa.
The midfielder struck an unstoppable free-kick in the 33rd minute to hand Milan a lead that they held until three minutes from time when Diego Milito pounced for his 13th goal of the season.
Genoa were good value for their point after a strong second-half recovery while Beckham appeared to be limping as he was taken off in the 71st minute.
Under the watchful eyes of Capello, Beckham was desperate to make an impact and wasted no time getting into the thick of the action as he tested Genoa goalkeeper Rubinho with a shot from the edge of the area after just 20 seconds.
Beckham's free-kick prowess would come to the fore eventually but Andrea Pirlo took responsibility for the first set-piece of the evening after Ivan Juric fouled Massimo Ambrosini 25 yards from goal.
And the Italy international very nearly broke the deadlock with his effort as he curled the ball against the crossbar with Rubinho beaten.
With two of the best free-kick takers in the world available, Milan were spoilt for choice whenever play was halted around the penalty area and their players needed little encouragement to go to ground within dead-ball range.
Beckham was next up after 33 minutes and, from what seemed a difficult angle, curled his free-kick powerfully past the wall and into the side of the goal they were meant to be covering, much to the disgust of Rubinho.
Genoa countered and showed their own prowess from set-pieces in the 42nd minute when Thiago Motta took aim from 20 yards but Christian Abbiati saved down low to his right.
At the other end it was Pirlo's turn to take the next Milan free-kick and he repeated his previous effort by striking the bar via a deflection off the glove of Rubinho.
Milan lost their way a little in the second half with Beckham tiring and eventually leaving the field 19 minutes from time to be replaced by Mathieu Flamini.
Ronaldinho, another set-piece threat, was brought into the action and was soon testing Rubinho with a goal-bound free-kick that the goalkeeper pushed wide.
Genoa remained a threat, however, and Giuseppe Biava headed over the crossbar from close range from a Juric corner.
With 10 minutes left, Abbiati rescued Milan with a stunning save to deny Milito, whose header from Raffaele Palladino's cross was arcing into the far corner before the goalkeeper's intervention.
Milan did not heed the warning, however, and Abbiati had to fish the ball out of his net three minutes from time when Milito finally beat him at the far post after Palladino's right-wing cross had been headed down by Biava.