Napoli drew 0-0 with AC Milan at the San Siro on Sunday afternoon, as the southern side dropped precious points in the race for the Serie A title.
In an end to end match, neither side was unable to finish one of the many chances in front of goal, with both goalkeepers making some impressive saves to deny their opposition attackers. Marek Hamšík had the best chance of the game for Napoli in the second half, but his close range effort inched agonisingly wide of goal after skilfully beating the offside trap.
Napoli started the game on the front foot, working the ball around the midfield as the hosts looked to keep their rigid shape. Giacomo Bonaventura gave Milan the first chance of the game, as he launched a powerful, 25-yard drive at the Pepe Reina's goal. The veteran keeper sprawled to his left to save the effort, palming it wide of his post with a strong hand.
In the 10th minute, Gennaro Gattuso's side missed a golden opportunity to take the lead. Suso burst down the right wing, before whipping a pinpoint ball across the face of goal. Nikola Kalinić was unmarked in the middle of the box, but failed to connect properly with the header and saw his effort drift wide of goal from five yards out.
Nikola Kalinić came close again moments later, almost getting on the end of Ricardo Rodríguez's cross, but Reina darted out of his goal and made a brave leap to punch the ball clear of the Croatian beanpole's head. Napoli then had their first chance of the match, as Callejón careered an effort wide from the edge of the area after Rodríguez was caught napping.
Moments later, Allan's delightful back-heel sent Dries Mertens through on goal, but Gianluigi Donnarumma stood strong and blocked the forward's effort. The game continued at a frenetic pace, and Napoli began to pile the pressure on the hosts as they started to find a foothold in the game.
Kalinić continued to cause mayhem in the Napoli area, and forced the opposition defence into a hurried clearance behind for a corner after getting on the end of another neat Rodríguez pass. In the 30th minute, Marek Hamšík flashed a shot wide of Donnarumma's far post, after being gifted the ball on the edge of the area by a clumsy Davide Calabria clearance.
Lorenzo Insigne then tore the Milan defence apart - weaving his way into the penalty area before bending a tantalising effort just wide of the sprawling Donnarumma's far post with the giant keeper well beaten. Milan battled back, and Hakan Çalhanoğlu's rocket was well saved Reina. Mateo Musaccio slammed in the rebound, but the referee raised his flag for an offside.
Napoli came flying out the traps in the second half, and Hamšík came close to giving his side the lead within two minutes. The Slovakian ace slipped through I Rossoneri's offside trap on to a precision pass from Insigne, only to drag his shot inches wide of goal. With their Serie A title hopes hanging in the balance, the Gli Azzuri poured forward desperately looking for a goal.
Milan weathered the storm, and Suso was unlucky to see his shot balloon over the bar after a well worked counter attack. Midway through the second half, Donnarumma was drawn into action again - gratefully clutching substitute Arkadiusz Milik's effort to his chest after the player scuffed his shot from close range.
Both sides began to show signs of tiring as the game entered the final ten minutes - with the two teams continually making mistakes when in possession. Insigne then drew Donnarumma into action, after firing a shot across goal straight into the enormous frame of the prodigious 19-year-old.
Milan's Lucas Biglia then smashed an ambitious shot over the bar from the edge of the area, as his side continued to waste opportunities in front of goal. The meaty midfielder then had another long range shot deflected over the bar, as Gattuso's men looked to capitalise from Napoli neglecting their defensive duties in the pursuit of a winning goal.
As the game ticked into stoppage time, the referee began to show a series of yellow cards, as both sides launched in with tired, mistimed tackles. Donnarumma became the hero in the 91st minute, making a stunning save to deny Milik - hurling himself across the goal face to tip wide from just five yards out from goal.
Neither side was able to find a winner, and the draw was bad news for both sides in their end of season aims. Napoli will need to hope that Sampdoria can upset Juventus to keep their lead down to three points, while AC Milan's chances of qualifying the Champions League are now extremely slim.