Valter Birsa's goal at the start of the second half earned AC Milan a morale-boosting second victory of the Serie A season at the expense of winless Sampdoria.
Milan started the weekend already trailing leaders Roma by 10 points after just five rounds of the season and needing to make amends to their fans for their 2-1 loss to Napoli in their last match at the San Siro.
They managed to achieve that thanks to Birsa's left-footed finish in the 46th minute, but it was far from comfortable for Massimiliano Allegri's men as struggling Samp created a number of chances to draw level without managing to put the ball into the net.
Neither goalkeeper had a save of note to make during a first half which saw Milan go close through Robinho, Philippe Mexes and Kevin Constant without hitting the target, while Samp's two efforts from Manolo Gabbiadini also lacked accuracy.
It took the home side barely 60 seconds into the second half to take the lead though, as Birsa picked up a pass on the edge of the box and drilled a low left-footed strike into the bottom right-hand side of Junio Costa's goal.
That proved to be the match-winning strike, although Samp will feel they should have got something out of the match after fashioning several decent openings in the final half-hour.
The first saw Roberto Soriano's close-range header saved by Christian Abbiati, before Gianluca Sansone (twice) and Pedro Mba Obiang saw efforts go just inches wide of the left-hand post.
Abbiati was then called into action again in the 86th minute to tip over Sansone's free-kick as Milan held on for the points.