Honda has failed to live up to expectations for Clarence Seedorf's ailing side since joining the club from CSKA Moscow in October.

But after Adel Taarabt had given the visitors a 20th-minute lead with a wonderful strike at a packed Luigi Ferraris Stadium - his third goal in eight league games - Honda latched on to the Moroccan's pass in the 56th minute to ride a challenge from onrushing goalkeeper Mattia Perin and watch the ball roll into the net.

Honda couldn't quite believe his luck, and the joy on the faces of his team-mates as they swamped him in celebration spoke volumes about the 27-year-old's frustration in his previous 11 league games for the Rossoneri.

Milan remain in 11th spot but a third consecutive win means they are now only five points adrift of fifth-placed city rivals Inter, who occupy the first available Europa League qualifying spot.

Inter's Europa hopes were dented on Saturday in a 2-2 draw at home to Bologna, their fourth consecutive game without a win.