Milan fought back from 3-1 down to hold Frosinone 3-3 at San Siro, as Mario Balotelli had a penalty saved and hit the bar.
The draw is still bad news, as Sassuolo beat Verona 1-0 and leapfrog them into sixth place.
The Rossoneri were in dire straits after a dismal draw with Carpi and shock defeat to bottom club Verona, as the Cristian Brocchi effect wasn’t making itself felt. The Canarini were also in crisis following a home loss to Palermo that left them teetering on the edge of relegation.
Mario Balotelli returned from suspension, but Giacomo Bonaventura, Andrea Bertolacci and M’Baye Niang were still sidelined. Frosinone had Raman Chibsah banned, Danilo Soddimo and goalkeeper Nicola Leali unavailable, so Francesco Bardi got a rare start in goal.
The only previous meeting was a 4-2 Milan away victory back in December.
Frosinone knew they needed a win and came flying out of the blocks at a deserted San Siro, as Milan were harassed out of possession in midfield and Luca Paganini strike from the edge of the box surprised Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Carlos Bacca ran on to a splendid Juraj Kucka slide-rule pass, but two players flung themselves in the way to block. On the resulting corner, a ricochet off Adriano Russo forced Bardi to fingertip it over the bar.
Bardi had his gloves stung by Balotelli and Kucka, while Keisuke Honda’s overhead kick was spectacular and off target.
Milan started to build momentum and Alex’s header from a corner was fingertipped on to the crossbar on 33 minutes.
Bacca turned another fairly free header wide from a Balotelli long set piece, plus Balotelli had penalty appeals for an Arlind Ajeti shirt tug.
However, it was Frosinone who doubled their lead at San Siro with an Oliver Kragl free kick from a good 30 metres that flew in at the near post. This was the first time the Canarini had ever held a two-goal away lead in Serie A.
Straight after the restart, Milan were awarded a penalty when Adriano Russo used his arm to charge down a Mattia De Sciglio strike. Balotelli stepped up, but saw the spot-kick parried by his former Inter youth academy teammate Bardi.
Moments later Bardi also palmed away a fierce Alex blockbuster from distance, but Milan did get back into it when Bacca came sliding in to meet an Ignazio Abate assist at the near post.
It didn’t last long, as just four minutes later Alex made a horrible mistake and Federico Dionisi placed the left-foot angled drive across Donnarumma into the far bottom corner.
News also filtered through that Sassuolo had taken the lead against Verona, pushing Milan down to seventh place.
Honda had the ball in the net, but only after Balotelli had been flagged offside. Luca Antonelli came off the bench and scored with his first touch, and what a goal too. He chested down with his back to goal and netted a spectacular overhead kick to make it 3-2.
Milan poured forward with every striker available without many results until the final minute, when Pryima handled in the box for another penalty. Jeremy Menez stepped up this time and Bardi very nearly got to that too, but the Frenchman squeezed his spot-kick in at the base of the near post for 3-3.
The hosts kept pushing and with the last kick of the game Balotelli unleashed a blockbuster from distance that smacked against the bar.
Saved penalty: Balotelli 48 (M)