AC Milan remain outside of the top four in Serie A after failing to beat a relegation-threatened Frosinone on Boxing Day, extending under fire manager Gennaro Gattuso's unbeaten run to five games across all competitions.
It was just Milan's third ever match against Frosinone in the top flight of Italian football but it was their first that finished goalless, with their two previous meeting having seen a total of 12 goals between both teams.
Samu Castillejo was denied by the width of the post early in the match, while Frosinone goalkeeper Marco Sportiello stopped the Spaniard from doubling his tally for the season around the half hour mark.
Frosinone were cruelly denied an opening goal when the Video Assistant Referee pulled Camillo Ciano's strike back for an earlier foul, while Andrea Pinamonti sent a close range effort just wide of the post after the break.
Milan were only able to carve out a handful of half chances even though they kept Frosinone pegged back for the majority of the second half, with Gonzalo Higuaín wasting their best chance in the dying embers of the match by blazing a shot over from 12 yards out.
Key Talking Point
Despite their place in the Serie A table helping to paper over the cracks, things really aren't going well for Milan this season. The Rossoneri appear to be low on quality, but more concerning is the fact they're even lower on confidence.
Rino Gattuso's side never looked comfortable at the Stadio Benito Stirpe, often rushing passes in the final third even when their build-up play had been good.
Both Patrick Cutrone and Gonzalo Higuaín looked lost - the former at least maintained his work ethic - while Milan's biggest attacking threat came from Samu Castillejo, a player who is still adapting to life in Italy.
Donnarumma (7) Calabria (6) Musacchio (5) Romagnoli (6) Rodríguez (6) Kessié (6) Bakayoko (7) Çalhanoğlu (6) Cutrone (6) Higuaín (5) Castillejo (7).
Substitutes: Laxalt (6) Conti (6).
On-loan Chelsea midfielder Tiémoué Bakayoko deserves a special mention, as he offered Milan an engine in the middle of the park and often drove the team forward, especially when the likes of Hakan Çalhanoğlu and Franck Kessié were happy sitting still.
But Milan's best player throughout their match against Frosinone was summer signing Samu Castillejo. The 23-year-old has largely been a disappointment in Italy, but he worked tirelessly to always offer his teammates on option on the right wing.
When Gonzalo Higuaín signed on the dotted line at San Siro earlier this year, many tipped AC Milan to break back into the Champions League and cement their place among European football's elite.
Higuain looks like a frustrated figure.— Auwal the first (@auwaltech) December 26, 2018
Bakayoko and Calhanoglu have made 2-3 nice passes each to Higuain but he got dispossessed. Sure he may not be able to turn and get the shot off but at least keep the ball ffs— Giova (@Romagnesta) December 26, 2018
Higuain is always complaining. If he isn't complaining at the lack of services from his teammates, It's about the referee's decision. Sometimes he even complain at himself— Daniele (@EdenDassidy) December 26, 2018
Higuain hates his teammates hahahaha— ηαν (@navcfc) December 26, 2018
But the Argentina international has offered the Rossoneri very little this season, scoring just five Serie A goals since his departure from Juventus. What's more, as a striker who spends most of his time out of possession, Higuaín always seems to throw his toys out of the pram any time anything doesn't go his way.
Sportiello (7) Goldaniga (6) Ariaudo (7) Krajnc (6) Ghiglione (7) Maiello (6) Chibsah (7) Crisetig (6) Beghetto (6) Ciano (7) Pinamonti (6).
Substitutes: Zampano (6) Salamon (6) Ciofani (6).
Frosinone will travel to take on Chievo Verona on the final game before the short winter break in a textbook relegation six-pointer, with new manager Marco Baroni now unbeaten following his opening two matches.
Milan's head coach, meanwhile, will be looking to save his job when SPAL visit San Siro this weekend, while much of the speculations currently suggesting that Gennaro Gattuso will be replaced in the new year.