Serie A - Roma hold Milan

Eurosport - Sat, 06 Mar 21:45:00 2010

Roma and Milan ground out a goalless draw at the Stadio Olimpico in a result that only benefited Serie A leaders Internazionale.

FOOTBALL Milan's Ronaldinho is challenged by Roma's Cassetti - 0

The visiting Rossoneri had the better of a tense and unadventurous match, the result of which kept them second, three points behind city rivals Inter and three ahead of third-placed Roma.

While neither side really deserved to win, Leonardo's side spurned two superb chances to snatch a late victory, with Ronaldinho and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar both heading over from close range.

The first opportunity of the game fell to Roma though, with an otherwise-quiet Julio Baptista forcing a good stop from Christian Abbiati on eight minutes.

Midway through the first half, Milan full-back Luca Antonini shot just over after Andrea Pirlo's corner was cleared to the edge of the box, while on the half hour team-mate Marco Borriello took the wrong decision, shooting well wide from a tight angle on the left when he should have driven the ball low across the face of goal, with Huntelaar lurking.

Boriello repeated the error 10 minutes into the second half. The Italian elected to shoot when he skipped clear of Juan on the right: Huntelaar was far better placed to score, and Julio Sergio parried it behind

Then came the 25-minute grind as the sides traded half-hearted attacks and niggly fouls with neither willing to risk defeat to close the gap on Inter.

The introduction of veteran duo David Beckham and Filippo Inzaghi seemed to breathe some life into Milan, with the former putting in a superb 81st-minute cross that the late-arriving Ronaldinho should have buried.

There was still time for an even worse miss though, with Huntelaar - low on confidence and, crucially, goals - somehow heading Pirlo's cross over from point-blank range, although a high boot from Nicolas Burdisso may have put him off and arguably should have been punished with an indirect free-kick four yards out.

John-Arne Riise almost snatched a winner for Roma deep into injury-time after running from his own half, but Abbiati had it covered to palm the ball away for a corner.

Inter can go six points clear if they beat Genoa on Sunday.

Reda Maher / Eurosport

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