Tiemoue Bakayoko was sent off, but Milan will still see this 0-0 draw against a Bologna side in the relegation zone as a missed opportunity.
The Rossoneri were smarting after their surprise Europa League exit to Olympiacos on Thursday, but knew a win here would take them four points clear in fourth place. Alessio Romagnoli returned after a calf strain for his first game since November 11 and Suso was also back, but Lucas Biglia, Giacomo Bonaventura and Mattia Caldara were still side-lined. Ex-Milan boss Pippo Inzaghi was at serious risk of the sack after an eight-round winless streak, leaving them in the relegation zone. Adam Nagy stepped in for injured Erick Pulgar.
Milan were unbeaten at the Dall’Ara in Serie A since a 2-0 result in March 2002, emerging with nine victories and three stalemates.
Gonzalo Higuain hadn’t scored for six weeks and scuffed two promising opportunities straight at Lukasz Skorupski, but the first real save was from Gianluigi Donnarumma on 27 minutes.
The young goalkeeper got down quickly and managed to get a hand to the Rodrigo Palacio snapshot, with Federico Santander offside on the rebound.
Donnarumma was also alert to rush off his line after Mattias Svanberg had sent Palacio clear on goal with a smart through ball. Ricardo Rodriguez’s wayward shot almost turned into an assist for Patrick Cutrone, but Skorupski smothered at his feet.
Straight after the restart, Santander horribly scuffed from a promising position. Milan had a couple of good passing moves, resulting in a Hakan Calhanoglu strike just wide and Higuain attempt charged down.
Substitute Blerim Dzemaili’s volley was easily caught, but Tiemoue Bakayoko received two entirely avoidable yellow cards in the space of three minutes, leaving Milan down to 10 men.
To make matters worse, Franck Kessie was booked a few minutes later, so both he and Bakayoko will be suspended against Fiorentina.
Donnarumma used his stomach and chest to parry a dangerous Riccardo Orsolini free kick whipped low into the six-yard box and was fortunate Filip Helander couldn’t turn in the rebound. Bologna wasted a couple of promising counters in stoppages, including a Mattia Destro header straight at Donnarumma.
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk
Sent off: Bakayoko 76 (M)