Nigel de Jong grabbed the only goal as Milan bettered bitter rivals Inter to create a rare bright spot in their forgettable Serie A campaign.
On a day when Juventus completed a title defence in which they have barely passed a glancing look in the direction of their traditional foes, the Milan-based sides illustrated why they have not challenged for a UEFA Champions League place, let alone the Scudetto, in a contest lacking quality.
Indeed, while the fixture historically bears huge significance at the top of the table, the main factor surrounding this encounter was its impact on Milan's hopes of qualifying for the Europa League.
Although Europe's secondary competition hardly seems befitting of a club of Milan's stature, Clarence Seedorf’s men did at least bolster their hopes and they are now just a point behind sixth place.
De Jong was the hero, powerfully heading home a fine free-kick from Mario Balotelli, for whom the assist will have been extra sweet given it came against his former club.
Inter did at least show some added fight after going behind, but Milan held on the claim just a second win in the last seven derbies.
The tone was immediately set as Walter Samuel dived into a crunching challenge on former team-mate Balotelli.
That was to prove one of the few memorable moments during the opening exchanges, however, as both sides struggled for fluency.
As if to illustrate the sloppy nature of the contest, one of the few pieces of ingenuity - a fine Adel Taarabt throughball - was completely wasted when Mattia De Sciglio hit a shot tamely into the side-netting.
That effort was in stark contrast to the one produced by Kaka when the next good opening arrived.
The Brazilian ran on to a searching long ball from De Jong, who had just dispossessed Jonathan in unsurprisingly robust fashion, before unleashing a superb half-volley that rattled against the crossbar.
It was Inter who created the first opportunity of the second period, although Mauro Icardi could only mis-hit a clever, pulled-back corner over the crossbar.
A set-piece almost proved crucial at the other end, too, as Philippe Mexes headed Kaka's curling centre just wide.
Inter paid for not heeding that warning as De Jong powerfully headed Balotelli’s wonderful delivery home with 65 minutes gone.
Suddenly awakened, Inter pressed forward immediately and were almost rewarded when Hernanes just missed the target.
Balotelli saw late attempts to cap his solid performance with a goal thwarted, yet it mattered little as Milan held on for the victory.
Inter, by contrast, offered little in the closing stages - with Javier Zanetti in particular left to reflect on a disappointing finale, as he was denied what would have been a farewell derby appearance by failing to get the call from the bench.
|2||M. De Sciglio|
|34||N. de Jong||65' 89'|
|Coach: C. Seedorf|
for A. Poli 72'
for Kaká 76'
for K. Constant 85'
|Inzaghi pleads for Milan reprieve|
|Athletic Bilbao 1 Barcelona 3: Messi magic seals domestic double|
|Atalanta 1 Milan 3: Bergamo old-boys win it for Rossoneri|
|Auxerre 0 Paris Saint-Germain 1: Cavani header seals historic treble|
|´Chelsea target´ Muto makes Mainz move|
|Sherwood eager to change ´losing mentality´|
|Borussia Dortmund 1 Wolfsburg 3: No triumphant send-off for Klopp|
|Allegri admits lack of focus|
|Cup success proves Arsenal´s big-game mentality - Wenger|
|Turkish Super Lig Review: Istanbul Basaksehir clinch European football for the first time|
|Arsenal 4 Aston Villa 0: Wenger´s men make history in one-sided final|
|Verona 2 Juventus 2: Juanito dents Champions League preparations|
|Solanke leads Chelsea to All-Stars victory|
|Indonesian Football Association suspended by FIFA|
|Randolph agrees West Ham switch|
|Mancini vows to rebuild Inter|
|Russian Premier League Review: Torpedo Moscow and Arsenal Tula suffer relegation|
|Kane the difference again as Tottenham see off Sydney|
|Garcia proud of resilient Roma|
|Rio Ferdinand retires from football|
|World Cup allocation to remain unchanged, Blatter confirms|
|Blatter defiant after re-election|
|Barkley break to benefit Everton - Jones|
|Bilic proud of Besiktas achievements following his final game in charge|
|Vietto encourages Atletico bid|
|Di Santo in demand, claims agent|
|Arteta: Arsenal harbour high ambitions for next season|
|Northern Ireland - Qatar Preview: O'Neill sees friendly as perfect preparation for Romania|
|Wilmots considering Schalke offer|
|McCall: Rangers need a miracle|
|Sporting Kansas City 4 Dallas 0: Nemeth, Zusi destroy 10-man visitors|
|Geferson replaces Marcelo for Copa America|
|PSG captain Silva in doubt for Coupe de France final|
|Valverde: Bilbao to stick to style in Copa final|
|Youngsters promoted to Australia´s squad to face Kyrgyzstan|
|´Another round of indictments´ expected in FIFA case|
|Disappointed FFA, US Soccer still want change|
|Gutierrez: Ashley abandoned me|
|US senator urges Blatter to release Garcia Report|
|Gutierrez, Taylor released by Newcastle|
|Figo calls on re-elected Blatter to resign after ´dark day´ for football|
|Szczesny blasts father over ´idiotic´ comments|
|Blatter vows to leave ´strong´ FIFA|
|Blatter re-elected as FIFA president|
|BREAKING NEWS: FIFA elections set for second round of voting|
|Atsu wings in for Bournemouth campaign|
|Klopp: Pokal final not about me|
|Clement says Real goodbyes|
|Inter v Empoli: Icardi looking for final flourish|
|BREAKING NEWS: Blatter - I will fix FIFA|
|Northern Ireland v Qatar: O´Neill keen to prepare for Romania test|
|Palestine drop proposal for Israel suspension|
|Suarez will only get better, warns Iniesta|
|Martinez keen to recruit quickly|
|Monk keen to build on successful Swansea campaign|
|Fit-again Suarez set to aid Barca´s treble quest|
|Anonymous ´bomb´ threat received at FIFA Congress|
|Qatar organisers insist World Cup bid met ´highest ethical standards´|
|Wilkinson and Sorensen leave Stoke|
|Blatter: You can´t ask everyone to behave ethically just like that|
|Van Bronckhorst positive about Feyenoord future|
|Australian police to look into FFA-Warner dealings|
|Dardai signs Hertha deal|
|Protester interrupts FIFA Congress|
|Spurs complete Wimmer signing|
|Warner questions charges following release|
|Mexico v Guatemala: Herrera´s men kick off Copa preparations|
|New Zealand no longer supporting Blatter|
|´Post-World Cup trauma´ affected Mertesacker|
|Racing Club 0 Guarani 0 (0-1 agg): Draw sees Paraguayans through|
|Hamburg shocked by Karlsruher attack - Labbadia|
|Serie A Preview: Napoli, Lazio eye Champions League|
|Hodgson will not overstay England welcome|
|Scholes: United must keep Di Maria|
|Leyton Orient appoint Hendon|
|Benteke has a buy-out clause - Sherwood|
|US Soccer will support Prince Ali in FIFA election|
|Dynamo disappointed with officials after City friendly abandoned|
|Calls for Suarez appeal gather momentum|