Milan needed a late goal from Alberto Gilardino to claim a first leg advantage.Milan needed a late goal from Alberto Gilardino to claim a first leg advantage over Palermo in the Coppa Italia.
Palermo are lagging behind Milan in Serie A, but league form goes out of the window in cup competitions and they held their own for long spells.
Milan kept plugging away and Gilardino popped up four minutes from time to hand the Rossoneri what could prove a crucial advantage.
Sampdoria came from a goal down to claim a draw at Udinese in the first leg of their Coppa Italia quarter final.
A goal on 23 minutes from Antonio Di Natale had the home side in the ascendancy, but a strike on 78 minutes by Aimo Diana put the contest back into the melting pot.