AC Milan dropped yet more points on home soil as they were held to a 0-0 draw by relegation-threatened Sampdoria.
The Rossoneri failed to score for a third straight game and continued their woeful season of goalscoring in general as a resolute performance from Claudio Ranieri’s side earned a point.
Milan had a total of 13 shots with 11 being on target, but they could not find a way to beat Emil Audero despite the introduction of Zlatan Ibrahimovic early in the second half.
The result means that Pioli’s side remain in 12th place in the bottom half of the standings ahead of a tricky trip to Cagliari on Saturday.
After Ibrahimovic had received an amazing reception before kick-off, the Rossoneri emerged in their all black third kit for the Bank Holiday encounter.
Milan started the game with plenty of the ball but struggled to break down the Sampdoria defence who were sat deep and compact, and Rade Krunic was the first to go into the book in the 13th minute.
After struggling to generate any real scoring chances, two came along at quick succession. Firstly a corner from Suso was flicked on at the near post across the face of goal but Krzysztof Piatek couldn’t latch onto it; Giacomo Bonaventura seeing his follow-up volley vitally blocked. Then, Suso found space on the right side of the box but shot straight at Audero in the Samp goal.
The game consisted mostly Milan trying to break down two banks of four, but Theo Hernandez did draw a save from Audero as his whipped cross strayed near to the goal line, the referee inexplicably pointing for a goal kick despite it being blatantly tipped over the bar.
Milan did manage to get in behind seven minutes before the break as the ball found Suso wide right, and it looked as though the Spaniard had beaten his man and was bearing down on goal before an amazing challenge from Chabot disrupted his attempt.
Claudio Ranieri was forced into two first half substitutions as Gaston Ramirez went down with a knee injury and was replaced by Fabio Depaoli, who was then also forced off with a knee problem, with Jakub Jankto his replacement.
Jankto thought he had given the away side the lead in first half added time as he capped off a two-on-one break, but the offside flag correctly went up.
The Diavolo had one more half chance before the break as Suso crossed towards Piatek and Giacomo Bonaventura, though – in fitting fashion – they got in each other’s way to ensure it was level at half-time.
Milan came out with more intent in the second half and, following an early free-kick that was cleared, Hakan Calhanoglu drew a save from Audero with an effort from the edge of the box.
Gianluigi Donnarumma was required to bail the Rossoneri out not long after though as Gabbiadini slipped in behind Alessio Romagnoli, but a combination of Gigio’s save and Hernandez’s goal-line clearance meant the 1-on-1 was denied.
A double sub came from Pioli ten minutes into the second half as Ibrahimovic entered to yet another raucous reaction along with Rafael Leao, with Piatek and Bonaventura going off.
However it was the visitors who then threatened as Donnarumma came rushing off his line for a loose ball which Gabbiadini was first to, yet he fired his effort well wide.
Ibrahimovic had his first major chance two minutes after the hour when he headed towards goal from a Calhanoglu cross which Audero saved. Not long after Zlatan turned provider for Rade Krunic but the Bosnian’s weak effort was easily gathered.
Leao then had his first real opportunity as the game began to open up; the Portuguese drawing a smart near post save from the Samp goalkeeper from the left side of the box.
The former Lille man had another huge chance 20 minutes from time as Musacchio directed a header in behind which he latched onto but could not keep his effort down from close range.
The groans around San Siro – particularly ones directed at the once again ineffectual Suso – grew louder and louder as fans realised they were set to witness yet another 0-0 home draw.