Giacomo Bonaventura was AC Milan's hero as they claimed their first win under Gennaro Gattuso at the third time of asking with a 2-1 triumph over Bologna at San Siro.
Gattuso, whose reign began with a 2-2 draw against minnows Benevento and a Europa League loss to Rijeka, saw his side start strongly on Sunday and claim a deserved lead through Bonaventura in the 10th minute.
However, former Milan youth product Simone Verdi pulled Bologna level midway through the first half and it looked as though the Rossoneri would have to settle for a share of the spoils as they faded in the second period.
Bonaventura ultimately came to his side's rescue, timing his run and jump perfectly to meet an inviting cross from Fabio Borini and head home the winning goal with 14 minutes remaining.
Milan rode their luck to hold on thereafter and climb to seventh in the table, albeit still a whopping 16 points behind rivals and league leaders Inter.
While Gattuso's men had some good fortune in the closing stages, as a deflected effort from Adam Masina struck the bar, they thoroughly deserved their 10th-minute opener, which came courtesy of a simple move.
Nikola Kalinic rose impressively to head the ball into the path of Bonaventura and his side-footed shot took a slight deflection off Giancarlo Gonzalez to beat Bologna goalkeeper Antonio Mirante.
The hosts initially looked highly likely to pull further clear, but were given a warning when Mattia Destro pulled the trigger eight yards out, only to be denied by a tremendous Riccardo Montolivo block.
After Suso had followed up a tremendous mazy run with a poor final ball inside the Bologna box, Destro then turned provider to set up his side's equaliser.
Mateo Musacchio was beaten all too easily and Destro then cut the ball back for Verdi, who took a somewhat clumsy first touch but nevertheless finished emphatically into the top-right corner.
Bologna were perhaps slightly fortunate to be level at half-time, but certainly looked capable of going on to win the game as the action switched from end to end after the interval.
Both sides let themselves down in the final third, though, with a host of promising positions wasted through a disappointing final ball or poor decision-making.
When a third goal did arrive, it came out of nowhere, Borini putting in a sumptuous delivery from the right that Bonaventura met with a firm downward header back across goal.
Saphir Taider and Erick Pulgar went close either side of Masina's effort looping over Gianluigi Donnarumma and on to the top of the crossbar, but Milan were not to be denied a much-needed triumph, only their third in 11 Serie A matches.
KEY OPTA STATS
- Bonaventura ended a run of 399 minutes without AC Milan scoring at home in Serie A.
- AC Milan won a Serie A home match for the first time since 20 September vs SPAL.
- Bonaventura has found the net in consecutive Serie A games for the first time since September 2015.
- Bonaventura scored his fourth brace in Serie A (the last was in May 2015 vs Atalanta).
- Simone Verdi has been directly involved in seven goals (four goals, three assists) in Bologna's last five Serie A matches.
|Steelers´ Roethlisberger texted Bell but ´didn’t hear back´|
|Reus and Kroos to sit out Germany´s clash with Russia|
|Van Dijk happy to recommend De Ligt if Liverpool ask|
|Sauber announce launch of junior programme|
|No ´breathtaking tennis´ in Djokovic´s win against Zverev|
|Curran: England spinners will be key in Kandy|
|Djokovic charges past Zverev to move closer to ATP Finals progression|
|Messi is a football alien - Malcom|
|Sky´s the limit for Sancho, says Dortmund team-mate Pulisic|
|Radwanska retires from tennis at 29|
|Maybe one day - Pulisic open to Premier League move|
|Suso ´proud´ of Real Madrid speculation but happy at AC Milan|
|Betis president convinced Lo Celso will stay|
|Injured Holder out of Bangladesh tour|
|Germany face relegation, final spots up for grabs - Nations League state of play|
|James Rodriguez out for several weeks with knee injury|
|Curran´s brilliant fifty rescues England´s innings|
|Lenglet: No problem with Dembele at Barca|
|Townsend rings the changes for Springboks clash|
|Claudio Ranieri´s managerial career in Opta numbers|
|Mahmudullah´s first century in eight years boosts Bangladesh|
|Fellaini gets the chop ahead of 31st birthday|
|Maradona: Solari will not last at Real Madrid|
|Molinari: Race to Dubai success would not surpass Ryder Cup glory with Fleetwood|
|Dortmund star Sancho was a Bayern target, confirms Salihamidzic|
|Gerrard enjoying ´buzz´ of management|
|Hamilton questions approach to Formula One expansion|
|Ranieri honoured to lead ´exceptional´ Fulham squad|
|Solari saw Isco out of shape - Ceballos|
|Ranieri replaces Jokanovic at Fulham|
|Durant keeps details of Green spat ´in-house´ but envisages resolution|
|Rooney: Kane and Sterling are England superstars|
|Messi will make Argentina return, says Maradona|
|Warriors drop Hawks as Green serves suspension|
|In-form Healy sends Australia into semis|
|Former NBA star McGrady says Carmelo Anthony should retire|
|Celtics´ Smart: We have to look at ourselves in the mirror|
|Federer plays down preferential treatment talk|
|Mourinho is better than Guardiola – Maradona|
|Mbappe plays down Pele comparisons|
|Don´t worry bro – Mendy responds to Trump|
|Melvin, Snitker win manager of the year awards|
|Warriors´ Green suspended for Hawks clash|
|Asensio: It´s not for me to lead Madrid|
|Rooney ready to enjoy England farewell after pressure of ´Golden Generation´|
|Ludwigsburg stun high-flying Murcia in BCL|
|Rams v Chiefs moved to LA due to Mexico City field conditions|
|Skriniar discussing new Inter contract, confirms agent|
|Former Barcelona boss Martino named MLS Coach of the Year|
|Bell fails to report to Steelers, will sit out rest of season|
|Federer back on track after dismal Thiem display|
|Udinese appoint Nicola after sacking Velazquez|
|Monaco deny they broke rules regarding youth recruitment|
|Del Bosque, Zidane, Lopetegui - The former Castilla coaches Solari follows into Real Madrid hot seat|
|Ozil rejected ´crazy offers´ from Asia, reveals agent|
|Real Madrid appoint Solari on permanent basis|
|LeVert avoids need for surgery, should return this season|
|Neuer confident despite concerns over Bayern Munich form|
|All I ever wanted to do is win, says Sixers signing Butler|
|Pogba: Coming home to United was the best feeling ever|
|Watson among four signing new Bath deals|
|Susanna Dinnage to replace Scudamore as Premier League chief executive|
|Murray commits to Brighton until 2020|
|Rooney rejected chance of pre-World Cup farewell|
|Impressive Anderson thrashes Nishikori|
|Ozil´s Germany absence a ´pity´, says Sane|
|Rooney: I´ll finish my career in the US|
|McIlroy unsure of 2019 European Tour membership|
|Australian Open dismisses concerns of Federer scheduling bias|
|Hue Jackson joins Bengals staff as ´special assistant´|