Wednesday's win was Milan's first first in five games and it helped lift the pressure on their head coach Clarence Seedorf, reports Xinhua.
Milan's win also practically wrote off Fiorentina's chance of clinching a place in the Champions League with 10 points now separating them from third-placed Napoli.
Seedorf praised Balotelli's attitude followin the win.
"I asked Mario for intensity and in that sense he had a great game in both phases. We already knew he had talent and could take free kicks like that, but I was most impressed by his consistency and intensity tonight," Seedorf said.
Thanks to a brace from Carlos Tevez, Juventus ended Parma's lengthy unbeaten run and took another step towards retaining the title with a 2-1 win at home.
Sixth-placed Parma arrived in Turin being unbeaten in 17 games but their record was put in danger by a first-half brace from Tevez, who recovered his position as the championship's leading scorer.
Cristian Molinaro turned the game into a contest for its final 30 minutes yet the dismissal of striker Amauri left Parma toothless and unable to force the draw late on.
Juve are now once again 14 points clear of second-placed Roma and their third straight Scudetto is within their reach.
Napoli staved off a valiant fightback from Catania to win 4-2 at the Stadio Angelo Massimino.
Duvan Zapata, Jose Callejon and Henrique scored in the first half to make the final outcome look like a foregone conclusion, but bottom side Catania hit back through Fabian Monzon and Norbert Gyomber.
Napoli then shut the game down and successfully put three more points on the board in their bid to catch second-placed Roma, who are now only six points better off in Serie A.
Lazio's hopes of playing in Europe next season suffered a major setback with a 2-0 loss to Genoa at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, where Alberto Gilardino and Ioannis Fetfatzidis scored the goals for Gianpiero Gasperini's men to give Lazio a night to forget.
Sassuolo's prospect of returning to Serie B is more clearer after 10-man Sampdoria moved into the top half of the table with a 2-1 victory at the Stadio Citta del Tricolore.
Chievo beat fellow strugglers Bologna 3-0 to claim a crucial three points in their battle to avoid relegation.
Livorno were pushed even closer to the Serie A trapdoor by Atalanta who kept alive their hopes of playing in Europe next season thanks to a 2-0 win in Bergamo.
Nene scored the solitary goal to ease Cagliari's relegation fears and inflicted a fourth straight defeat on free-falling Verona.
The Sardinians had slipped dangerously close to the Serie A drop zone in recent weeks but a 1-0 victory at the Stadio Sant'Elia saw them pull eight points clear of 18th-placed Livorno.