MILAN – AC Milan completed four Serie A games without scoring for the first time since 1984 when they were held 0-0 at next-to-bottom Frosinone on Wednesday. As speculation mounted about his future, beleaguered Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso admitted his side were “dreadful” in the first half against the team with Serie A’s worst defensive record.
“We handed it to our opponents: we were not on the field, we lost all the 50-50 balls. We knew it would be difficult and we could easily have lost it,” said Gattuso, whose side have not scored for 379 minutes.
“We played a dreadful first half. I cannot accept a performance like that. We can’t play like that if we want to qualify for the Champions League,” he added.
Samu Castillejo hit the post for Milan while Frosinone, who have shipped 36 goals in 18 games, had a goal disallowed before halftime. Camillo Ciano volleyed home from Raffaele Maiello’s pass but, following a VAR review, the referee ruled that Maiello had fouled Hakan Calhangolu as he won the ball in midfield. In an end-to-end finale, Milan striker Gonzalo Higuain fired over the bar from 12 metres in stoppage time from Calhanoglu’s inviting pass as he completed his ninth game without scoring. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma came to Milan’s rescue with an excellent save from Ciano’s low drive. Milan stayed fifth with 28 points, outside the Champions League places, and are in danger of being engulfed by a pack of teams just below them. The last time Milan went four league games against scoring was under coach Nils Liedholm in 1984-85 when their rivals were Torino, Avellino, Hellas Verona and Sampdoria.
“We need to score goals and we weren’t precise enough. We missed all the chances that came our way,” Gattuso said.
(Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond)