Clarence Seedorf saw Milan win for the first time in six attempts with a comfortable 2-0 success at Fiorentina.
Goals in each half from Philippe Mexes and Mario Balotelli saw Seedorf's mid-table side lift their flagging season as they produced a masterful display at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
Fiorentina, meanwhile, were dealt a blow to their UEFA Champions League hopes, after successive Serie A wins had lifted hopes of a late surge towards third place.
Mexes nodded in from close range from a Balotelli free-kick midway through the first half before Balotelli himself - who was also booked for the 10th time this season in the first half - doubled the lead with a superb free-kick.
In the end it was comfortable for the visitors, as they finally began to show signs of returning to something like their best.
Seedorf rang the changes after the "positive step" of Sunday's 1-1 draw at Lazio, with goalkeeper Christian Abbiati, Sulley Muntari, Adel Taarabt and Mario Balotelli all restored to the starting line-up.
But it was Fiorentina who carved out the first chance of the game after a patient opening, with Milan loanee Alessandro Matri - restored to the side - going close with a neat header from a deep Gonzalo Rodriguez cross.
The hosts were forced into an early change when defender Manuel Pasqual left the field in the 18th minute with an apparent injury, to be replaced by Argentinean Facundo Roncaglia.
And they were behind in the 23rd minute when a long-range free-kick from Balotelli was mishandled by goalkeeper Neto and French defender Philippe Mexes was there to head the rebound over the line from close range.
A weaving run from Juan Cuadrado resulted in Abbiati being forced into a smart save at his near post as Fiorentina sought an immediate response, but their deficit was almost doubled on the half-hour mark when Muntari collected a loose ball 35 yards out and looped a volley on goal that Neto had to deal with.
Milan were strong in midfield and frustrating the hosts, and a counter attack lead by Taarabt saw the Moroccan draw another smart save from Neto before Muntari lashed wastefully over from an inviting right-wing Keisuke Honda cross five minutes before the break.
Matri squandered a golden opportunity to equalise just three minutes into the second period when Joaquin headed a deep cross into the box and the unmarked 29-year-old headed wide with the goal at his mercy.
Spanish winger Borja Valero then saw a 20-yard left-footed drive go narrowly over for Fiorentina, as Milan continued to keep Vincenzo Montella's side at arm's length.
And in the 64th minute they doubled their lead with a piece of individual brilliance.
Balotelli had begun to grow into the game, and he curled an exquisite 20-yard free-kick over the wall to beat Neto for his 12th league goal of the season to put the game beyond the hosts.
Fiorentina piled on some late pressure but their play was ragged and prompted no clear cut chances as Milan comfortably saw the game out.
|Coach: V. Montella|
for M. Pasqual 18'
for N. Tomović 67'
for Joaquín 78'
|Guardiola satisfied with Cologne victory|
|Espanyol 1 Cordoba 0: Abraham goal secures the points|
|Marseille 2 Caen 3: Hosts throw lead away yet again|
|Bayern Munich 4 Cologne 1: Champions move 11 points clear|
|Dordrecht 2 Go Ahead Eagles 1: Klaiber leaves it late|
|Luis Enrique laments English ´campaign´ over Suarez|
|Atletico Madrid v Sevilla: Champions attempt to bounce back|
|De Gea dismisses ´lies´ about Van Gaal relationship|
|Monaco v Paris Saint-Germain: Jardim wants no Champions League distractions|
|Inter v Fiorentina: Both sides on a high after Europa League success|
|Real Madrid v Villarreal: Ancelotti´s side looking to keep chasing pack at bay|
|Arsenal v Everton: Hurting Wenger calls for immediate response|
|Hull and Panathinaikos among four clubs pay FFP fines|
|Liverpool v Manchester City: Champions eye long-awaited Anfield success|
|Lucas Moura out for at least four weeks|
|Chelsea v Tottenham: Mourinho´s men channel spirit of 2005|
|Loan move to Ipswich an easy decision for Wood|
|Qatar World Cup final no later than December 18 - Blatter|
|Martinez excited by Kiev draw|
|Dynamo face disciplinary hearing after crowd trouble|
|Hughes close on signing new Stoke deal|
|Parma game called off again|
|De Boer to stay at Ajax|
|Arnesen backs Vieira as potential future City director of football|
|Mourinho has no fears over Wembley referee|
|Van Persie absent for Sunderland clash|
|Mason hoping to relive 2008 at League Cup final|
|Fiorentina and Roma to meet in Europa League|
|Inter finalise Felipe swoop|
|Poyet delighted to have ´contagious´ Cattermole back|
|Melbourne City 3 Adelaide United 1: Baharudin triggers crucial comeback|
|Chelsea can cope with Matic absence - Terry|
|Mancini: I tried to take Guarin to Galatasaray|
|Wilshere undergoes ankle procedure|
|Bruce: Most Championship clubs would struggle with FFP|
|Henry would say yes to Arsenal job|
|Mignolet backs ´devastated´ Liverpool to regroup|
|Tiote looks set to miss the rest of the season|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Osvaldo scores for Boca, Internacional win|
|Alajuelense 5 DC United 2: Costa Ricans set for semis|
|Besiktas settled score with Liverpool - Cenk|
|Montella: Hard to keep Salah|
|Martinez salutes Everton´s qualification|
|Europa League games marred by crowd trouble|
|UEFA Europa League Review: Lovren misses crucial spot kick as Liverpool crash out|
|Rodgers rues lack of Liverpool guile|
|Pochettino laments ´key´ Soldado miss|
|Everton 3 Young Boys 1 (7-2 agg): Tormentor-in-chief Lukaku on song again|
|Serie A games to start late in show of support for Parma|
|Mancini irked by mistakes despite win|
|Besiktas 1 Liverpool 0 (aet, 1-1 agg, 5-4 pens): Lovren misses decisive spot-kick|
|Chelsea agree record sponsorship deal|
|Fiorentina 2 Tottenham 0 (3-1 agg): Gomez and Salah eliminate Spurs|
|Inter 1 Celtic 0 (4-3 agg): Guarin stunner sees Mancini´s men through|
|Manchester United v Sunderland: Poyet eyeing another Old Trafford upset|
|Monk has no problem with Van Gaal|
|Borussia Dortmund v Schalke: Di Matteo buzzing ahead of derby debut|
|Poyet not prepared to risk returning duo against United|
|Sherwood seeks six wins for survival|
|Championship Preview: Neil relishing East Anglian derby|
|Newcastle United v Aston Villa: Carver praises rejuvenated visitors|
|Granada v Barcelona: Catalan giants aiming to put pressure back on Real|
|Burnley v Swansea City: Monk targets 40 points in record time|
|Stoke City v Hull City: Meyler focused on maintaining resurgence|
|West Brom v Southampton: Pulis warns of continued dogfight|
|Police identify Chelsea fans over racist chanting|
|Guardiola warns against complacency|
|West Ham v Crystal Palace: Allardyce wary of being caught on counter|
|Parma GM compares club to the Titanic|
|Alderweireld close to Southampton return|
|Dyche keen to move on from Barnes furore|
|Gutierrez in Newcastle squad for Villa clash|
|Union chief urges action over Serbia gun threat|
|Berahino doubtful for Southampton clash|
|German citizenship? Why not? - Ribery|
|League Two Preview: Bury hope winning environment rubs off, Burton host Newport|
|Klopp hoping to avoid any nasty surprises after bomb discovery|
|Blackett pens new United deal|
|Sakho to return to training|
|Flores quits Getafe for personal reasons|
|Busquets agrees new Barcelona deal|
|Martino ´could not be happy´ at Barcelona|
|Allardyce striving to develop more Nobles|
|Nani hopeful of United return|
|Unexploded bomb found near Dortmund stadium|
|Lippi leaves Evergrande for personal reasons|
|Chelsea issue cup final warning to fans|
|Ancelotti has no intention to re-sign Morata|
|Dunkin´ Donuts sorry after Liverpool fans slam alternate club crest|
|Noble signs new West Ham contract|
|Sterling hopeful of contract resolution|
|Ali renews UAE contract|
|Deportivo Saprissa 0 America 3: Visitors win with late blitz|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Pato´s streak continues|
|Chievo v Milan: Abbiati wants consistency from Inzaghi´s men|
|Valverde wants momentum ahead of ´crucial´ week|
|Deila challenges Van Dijk, Denayer|
|Serie A Preview: Roma in crucial clash with Juve, resurgent Inter at home|
|Prince Albert: I feel for Wenger|
|Jardim salutes Monaco´s game plan|
|Schmidt dreaming of UEFA Champions League quarter finals|