Serie A: AC Milan gets first win in three games amid supporters' protest
MILAN (AP) — AC Milan beat relegation-threatened Cagliari 3-1 to end a run of three matches without a victory in Serie A on Saturday.
However, there were few fans present to witness the victory, with the Milan 'ultras' calling a strike to protest poor results, leaving the stands mainly empty apart from banners which read: "Game over" and "Insert coin to save Milan."
Jeremy Menez scored twice including a penalty, while Philippe Mexes scored Milan's other goal.
Diego Farias leveled for Cagliari, which also hit the post through Joao Pedro.
Milan moved provisionally up to eighth, while Cagliari remained four points from safety as new coach Zdenek Zeman is still without a win after two matches in charge.
Earlier, Chievo Verona missed a penalty but held on for a much-needed 1-0 victory over Palermo.
Menez broke the deadlock in the 21st minute, cutting inside the left side of the penalty area and curling a fine strike into the far side of goal.
Cagliari leveled at the start of the second half as, following a rapid counterattack, Marco Sau set up Farias, who dribbled past Mexes before slotting past Diego Lopez.
Mexes atoned for his error two minutes later by restoring Milan's lead with a powerful volley from a corner.
Cagliari should have equalized again in the 75th but Joao Pedro's effort crashed off the post.
The Sardinian side was made to rue that missed opportunity shortly afterwards when Alessio Cerci was brought down by Verona defender Luca Ceppitelli and, even though the foul appeared to be outside the area, the referee pointed to the penalty spot.
Menez converted for his 15th league goal.
Alberto Paloschi netted the only goal of an entertaining match in Verona in the 35th minute, sprinting onto Riccardo Meggiorini's backheel flick and holding off two defenders to fire into the bottom left corner.
It was Paloschi's third goal in two matches.
He had a chance to double his tally just after the hour mark after Sinisa Andjelkovic handled in the area but blazed his penalty well over the bar.
Palermo almost made Chievo pay for that miss when Franco Vazquez's effort crashed off the crossbar. Nobody has hit the woodwork more times this season than Palermo, with Vazquez alone rattling the frame of the goal nine times.
Andjelkovic was sent off for a second booking four minutes from time.