MILAN, ITALY – Japan midfielder Keisuke Honda opened his AC Milan account in front of incoming boss Clarence Seedorf in a comfortable 3-1 Italian Cup fifth-round victory over second-division Spezia on Wednesday.
Making his first start since joining the club last week, Honda scored the third on 47 minutes, burying his shot from close range after Spezia goalkeeper Nicola Leali had parried a shot from Riccardo Montolivo.
First-half goals from Robinho and Giampaolo Pazzini put Milan in the driver’s seat before Honda sealed victory to set up a meeting in the last eight with Udinese on Jan. 22. Nicola Ferrari grabbed a late consolation for Spezia.
Milan was overseen by Mauro Tassotti, who stepped in as caretaker following the sacking of Massimiliano Allegri on Monday. Seedorf watched from the stands.
Allegri was sacked after Milan suffered a humiliating 4-3 Serie A defeat to Sassuolo on Sunday, during which Honda came on as a substitute to make his debut.
Former Dutch international Seedorf, who played for Milan from 2002-2012 before moving to Brazilian club Botafogo, will start his managerial career when Milan plays Verona on Sunday.