Stephan El Shaarawy was on target yet again for Milan, but Daniele Galloppa’s free kick meant it only earned a 1-1 draw at Parma.
Massimiliano Allegri took some pressure off with a midweek win over Cagliari and returned to the bench after a touchline ban. He rotated the squad with Bojan Krkic getting his first Rossoneri start, while Cristian Zapata and Kevin-Prince Boateng returned from suspension. Parma had Aleandro Rosi back from his ban, but Jaime Valdes fell foul of the Disciplinary Commission. Raffaele Palladino, Fabiano Santacroce, Alexandre Pato, Mathieu Flamini and Djamel Mesbah were injured.
Milan adopted a new 4-2-3-1 system with Antonio Nocerino and Bojan out wide behind centre-forward Stephan El Shaarawy. It had been raining over the Tardini all day and continued coming down as the game kicked off.
Boateng’s long-range strike was the first real attempt, then forced a good save out of Antonio Mirante when flagged offside – albeit for Nocerino’s position.
Massimo Ambrosini was booked for dragging back the quick Dorlan Pabon and the resulting Massimo Gobbi free kick was deflected to clip the frame of the goal. On the successive corner, Alessandro Lucarelli had penalty appeals, but seemed to go over too easily.
After 30 minutes, El Shaarawy moved over to the left as Milan returned to a 4-3-3 in a bid to find space.
Christian Abbiati flapped at a dangerous Daniele Galloppa cross from the left, while Bojan drilled well wide and was then stopped on the counter by a clean Gabriel Paletta tackle. Milan dominated possession – over 70 per cent in the first half – but struggled to create chances.
El Shaarawy finally gave the away fans something to cheer when he rode three tackles down the left to go clear, but his roll across for Bojan was scuffed and intercepted.
Moments later a wonderful Bojan curler from 20 metres whistled inches over the far top corner of the net. Sotiris Ninis also blasted one from distance that was off target for Parma.
After the restart a tricky low cross missed El Shaarawy and Boateng who were ready to tap in from six yards.
El Shaarawy broke the deadlock moments later with his fourth goal in three games. The Little Pharaoh sprung the offside trap on a through ball, partly because Boateng drew away a defender to leave space, and kept his cool to nutmeg the on-rushing goalkeeper.
Boateng managed to surrpise the Parma defence to go totally clear on goal from a Bojan ball over the top, but his glancing header was wide of the far post in a terrible miss.
Moments later it was Parma’s turn to waste an incredible chance. A flick carried on a cross at the near stick to shock Abbiati, but Nocerino flung himself at Gobbi’s follow-up from five yards like a human shield.
Boateng’s angled drive was fingertipped round the base of the post by Antonio Mirante, while Ambrosini wandered offside as Bojan rolled across the six-yard box.
Parma equalised when substitute Riccardo Montolivo clattered into Ninis on the edge of the box. The free kick was touched on for Daniele Galloppa, who found a hole in the middle of the Milan wall to beat Abbiati low at the near post after Nigel De Jong moved.
Gabriele Musacci did enough to stop Bojan tapping in an Ignazio Abate low cross, while Abbiati palmed a Marco Parolo long-range attempt wide when it bounced right in front of him.
El Shaarawy tested Mirante from outside the box and with six minutes left on the clock the goalkeeper palmed a fierce Montolivo free kick round the post from a good 25 metres.