Menez leads Milan past Cagliari

Milan, Italy ( - Jeremy Menez scored a goal in each half to propel AC Milan to a 3-1 win over Cagliari, moving the Rossoneri into seventh place in Serie A.

Menez was on target in the 21st minute to put Milan ahead at the break, while Cagliari equalized through Diego Farias early in the second half.

However, Phillippe Mexes restored Milan's advantage just two minutes later, and Menez added a third goal from the penalty spot 12 minutes from time to seal the win for the hosts.

Cagliari entered the contest on a seven-game winless streak, but the visitors started well before Menez broke the deadlock against the run of play.

The Frenchman cut inside from the left and curled a shot past diving goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic for his 14th goal of the campaign.

Marco van Ginkel sent a shot whistling just over Brkic's crossbar before the break, but the visitors came out strong in the second half and were level in the 47th minute.

A nice individual effort from Farias saw him track down a long ball and breeze past Mexes before slotting his shot past goalkeeper Diego Lopez, evening things at 1-1.

But Mexes was quick to atone for his poor defending with a well-struck volley from a Menez corner to put the hosts back ahead.

Farias nearly answered on the hour mark as his shot clipped the crossbar, while the woodwork came to Milan's rescue again in the 75th when substitute Joao Pedro struck the post.

Milan finally killed the game off three minutes later when Alessio Cerci was pulled down by Luca Ceppitelli just inside the penalty area, leaving Menez to fire home his spot kick to wrap up all three points.

Saturday's other match saw Chievo move 11 points clear of the relegation places with a 1-0 victory over Palermo as Alberto Paloschi provided the lone goal in the 36th minute.