Milan head coach Stefano Pioli claimed the experience of losing 3-1 to Juventus at San Siro was "healthy" for his side, saying: "We had not felt that for a while."
A Federico Chiesa double and a third goal from Weston McKennie ended the leaders' unbeaten Serie A record this season, consigning them to a first in 28 matches in the Italian top flight.
Milan had 20 shots, but Davide Calabria's equaliser late in the first half was the only one to find the back of the net and Pioli admitted his side were second best on the night.
"We have to tip our hats and give credit to our opponents for managing to get back in front," Pioli told Sky Sports Italia.
"We did what we needed to, created chances and inevitably allowed some, but after going behind for the second time, it became more difficult to get back into it.
"It was a very even game up until the second Juventus goal and I feel that's the moment that changed it.
"We were penalised by their quality in situations where we could’ve been a little more concentrated."
The defeat came on a night when Milan's closest title challengers and city rivals Inter were beaten 2-1 at Sampdoria.
Despite seeing his players miss the chance to go four points clear at the top of the table, Pioli reflected on the positives.
He said: "The lads had their heads down in the dressing room and were disappointed, but in a way it was healthy for us to experience defeat, as we hadn't felt that for a while.
"I gave them a pat on the back, said they ought to be proud of what they achieved in the circumstances.
"We proved that we are a strong team tonight."