Stephan El Shaarawy's goal against his former club was enough to earn AC Milan a 1-0 victory against Genoa at a semi-deserted Stadio San Siro.
Italy international El Shaarawy decided a tense encounter in the 77th minute, resolving Milan's immediate problems in Serie A, but leaving them still with plenty of margin for improvement.
Genoa lost their second game in a row to fall behind Milan in the table with the managerial switch from Luigi De Canio to Luigi Del Neri having no immediate impact.
Strugglers Siena and Palermo played out a 0-0 draw at the Stadio Artemio Franchi with the result not helping either side out a great deal.
Palermo had the better chances, but were unable to beat a Siena side who, without a six-point penalty, would be ahead of the Rosaneri in the table.
As it is, though, Serse Cosmi's side are still four points adrift of the Sicilians, who also remain in the bottom three having played a game more than the teams above them.