AC Milan regained lost ground in football's Italian Serie A on Wednesday beating Reggina 1-0 in an away game.
Milan now lie sixth on 30 points with the win Wednesday, a tally they can beef up Feb 13 through a further game in hand against Livorno.
A crucial game is up for Milan at the weekend as they visit fourth-place Fiorentina, who on 37 points occupy the last available Champions League berth with a wide 13-point gap behind leaders Inter Milan.
In Reggio Calabria, Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti rested star Ronaldo, fielding up front his Brazil compatriot Alexandre Pato alongside Alberto Gilardino, who scored the winner on 18 minutes.
There was no need to jump for the Gila as he headed home a cross from Andrea Pirlo, who found him unmarked in front of goal.
Gennaro Gattuso had threatened earlier with a fast drive from outside the area and in the 30th minute again forced a spectacular save from goalkeeper Andrea Campagnolo.
Reggina's first attempt was a shot wide from midfielder Emmanuel Cascione, while Milan back-up striker Kaka had a shot deflected by Salvatore Aronica and Pato fired two high drives.
In the 33rd minute, Fabio Ceravolo had Reggina's best chance when he left Alessandro Nesta standing, but found Australian goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac ready to parry his narrow-angle shot.
There was little thrill in the second half, save a swerving bar-shaking free-kick from Pirlo followed by Campagnolo's prodigious save on a close-range header from Brazilian Emerson.
Pato again volleyed wide in the 76th minute as the southern-Italy hosts ended an unbeaten run of four games to remain rooted just one point above the three-team relegation zone.