A coolly-taken brace from the imperious Mario Balotelli handed Milan a hard-fought 2-0 win at the San Siro to see the Rossoneri remain hot on the heels of second-placed Napoli.
Balotelli made it his seventh goal in just six games since his arrival at the San Siro, netting confidently from the spot in the 8th minute before doubling his tally mid-way through the second period with a close range effort.
The result continued Palermo’s downward spiral and extended their winless streak to a staggering 16 games, putting the Sicilians five points adrift of safety.
But Giuseppe Sannino can take heart from his side’s performance, with the visitors creating a number of promising opportunities in both halves primarily through the impressive Josip Illicic.
Balotelli was quick off the mark, winning and converting an eighth minute penalty as Milan bounced back from the midweek Champions League mauling by Barcelona.
Milan lived dangerously but 'Super Mario' made the game safe in the 66th minute with an easy tap-in, leaving Palermo level at the bottom with Pescara on 21 points.
The Sicilians, without a win in 15 games, sacked Gian Piero Gasperini at the start of February, but then fired his replacement Alberto Malesani after three matches, brought back Gasperini and sacked him again after another two matches.