Carpi 0-0 AC Milan: Rossoneri held by plucky Carpi
M'Baye Niang tries to nip it past Belec. Image:

AC Milan's European hopes were dealt a blow as they were held to a goalless draw by a resilliant Carpi side in Modena on Sunday night.

Milan went into the game in 8th place following results over the weekend, with Atalanta leaping above them thanks to a 3-0 win over Palermo.

Carpi meanwhile were beginning to get cut adrift. Six points away from safety going into this clash against a European hopeful was not the ideal scenario for Fabrizio Castori's men.

They did however start the game better, with Pasciuti finding space for a follow up inside the first five minutes that was well blocked.

Milan have dodgy start

Then, in the eighth minute, a cross by Marco Borriello was cleared only as far as Cofie who rolled his shot into the arms of Gigi Donnarumma.

Borriello, a former Devil, skewed a half-volley into the side netting in the tenth minute as Milan continued their shaky start.

Donnarumma was called into action again in minute 13 as Lollo struck a ball that sat up sweetly, the teenager parrying away.

Alessio Cerci should have done better in the 17th minute as a ball over the top found the former-Torino winger, but he couldn't bring it down cleanly.

As the game became more and more competitive, Cerci again got himself in behind on the half hour mark but Belec in the Carpi goal did well to rush out and trap the ball for a corner.

M'Baye Niang forced Belec to save ten minutes before the break and he was equal to the task, dramatically tipping an effort over from the edge of the box.

Kevin Lasagna had a penalty appeal turned down minutes before half time as referee Irrati adjudged the Alex won the ball cleanly, on review it was the right call.

Stats suggested at half time that Milan had around 57% of the possession, with both teams having five shots but Carpi leading with three on target to two.

The second half was slightly anti-climatic as both sides lacked any real quality.

Carpi defensively sound 

Niang got to the byline several times but every time he went to cross it was blocked; a testament to the strength and solidarity of Carpi.

Bonaventura had two free kick chances in the last 15 minutes all in a similar range. He couldn't repeat the strike against Crotone in the cup as the game began to wind down.

The final notable opportunity of the game came with five minutes left. A corner for Milan was met by Alex who forced a miraculous save from Belec. Follow up shots from Bonaventura and Kucka were blocked as Carpi managed to scramble it clear.

Full time and a deserved 0-0 kept the two teams in their respective positions. Milan would see it as two points dropped but full credit must go to Carpi who were very solid.

Carpi move to five points from safety, while Milan go level with Atalanta in seventh albeit with a worse goal difference.