Milan held to draw by Parma

Milan were denied back-to-back victories as Parma battled to earn a point in a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Ennio Tardini.

Milan held to draw by Parma

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AC Milan's Kevin Prince Boateng (L) is challenged by Parma's Alessandro Lucarelli during their Serie A soccer match at the Tardini stadium in Parma September 29, 2012 (Reuters)

Stephan El Shaarawy’s put the visitors in front five minutes after break but their lead was shortly cancelled out by Daniele Galloppa’s greatly worked set-piece on 66 minutes.

After a dour first half which failed to produce a quantity of clear cut chances, the game came into life after the interval to produce an entertaining rally of end to end football.

The Rossoneri recorded a much needed victory over Cagliari on Wednesday to relieve the pressure of coach Massimiliano Allegri. The 45-year-old returned to dictating proceedings from the dugout after serving a one-match touchline ban and given their opponents own difficult start to the season, Milan were optimistic of recording successive wins.

Roberto Donadoni, who made four changes to the Parma starting XI, will view this result as a point gained; they showed great character although their play in the final third of the pitch will surely concern the Crociati faithful.

Goals have been in short supply for Parma who have endured a vaguely tolerable opening to the Serie A campaign, just five in total inside the same number of league games.

As for the men in red and black, they have been a side in transition and the irritancy of conceding goals have pegged them back far too many times in their quest to take control of the game. Instead they have had to chase proceedings and on this occasion just lacked that inspiration to find a winning goal to take three points back to the San Siro. The fans may point that to the fact top goalscorer Giampaolo Pazzini started on the bench.

The best effort of the first half fell to Boateng, as Abate's deep cross from the touchline met the head of Boateng but it required a brilliant parry from Mirante.

The home side also had a penalty appeal ignored midway through the first half. Lucarelli went down under a challenge from Zapata but the referee deemed that there was not sufficient contact and waved play on. The replays showed backed the referee's call.

El Shaarawy looked lively throughout and made a surging run to the danger zone, skipping past two defenders but failing to play a decisive pass to the unmarked Pato. But he did not have to wait long for his goal and the in-form attacker added to his double in midweek by latching onto Bojan's pass before surging past his marker and drilling the ball low through the legs of Mirante.

Parma’s goal came as Musacci laid the ball off to Galloppa on the edge of the box and his left-footed drive found the back of the net, into the bottom right corner which left the stretching Abbiati no chance.

Bojan attempted to restore Milan's lead with a well struck effort from 20 yards but Mirante was equal to it.

After Milan's worst start to the season in 82 years, the result stalls their progress, and hopes of sustaining a Scudetto challenge seem remote at this stage.

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