Birsa fires AC Milan past Udinese

Milan, Italy ( - Valter Birsa's first-half goal was enough to lift AC Milan to a 1-0 win over Udinese on Saturday at the San Siro.

Coming off a lackluster 3-2 setback in league play against Juventus last week, Milan was on the front foot from the outset and for its reward in the 22nd minute when Birsa fired home his second goal of the campaign.

Udinese sent numbers forward in the second half looking for an equalizing goal, but Milan's backline held firm to claim an important three points. The result moves the club up to seventh in Serie A on 11 points, while Udinese sits in ninth on 10 points.

In Saturday's other Serie A fixture, Mauricio Pinilla scored six minutes from time to lift Cagliari to a 2-1 win over Catania at the Stadio Sant'Elia.

Gonzalo Bergessio opened the scoring for the visitors five minutes in, but Segundo Ibarbo equalized in the 26th before Pinilla scored the winner with six minutes remaining.

The victory sees Cagliari up to 10th place with 10 points, while Catania stays in 16th, two points clear of the drop zone through eight matches.