AC Milan boss Vincenzo Montella praised his side even though they were held by Atalanta at a foggy San Siro in their final Serie A game of 2016.
Third-placed Milan missed the opportunity to take advantage of Scudetto rivals Juventus and Roma playing each other later on Saturday as they battled to a disappointing 0-0 draw.
Strikers Carlos Bacca and Gianluca Lapadula had efforts cleared off the line and Luca Antonelli struck the post as the hosts were frustrated after losing to Roma in their previous match.
But Montella was happy with Milan’s players, telling Sky Italia: “I congratulate the guys – they had good mental toughness and the second half was only played in Atalanta’s half.
“We had the feeling that a goal could come at any moment.
“We deserved more and a win would have been the icing on the cake for this year in the league, but it was also important not to lose.
“In the last game, we deserved something against Roma. The statistics and numbers do not tell the whole story about our last two games.
“I am happy about our current position in the standings and with what the players are doing.”
Playmaker Giacomo Bonaventura also felt Milan had played well despite the frustrating result.
“We put in a good performance and in the past had struggled against sides who play like Atalanta,” he said.
“The result is not fully satisfying, but we are keeping our performance level. We can do more and need to keep working.
“We have many young players in the squad and you can see they are maturing game by game.”
Milan are back in action against Juventus for the Supercoppa Italiana in Qatar next Friday, meaning they do not play in the league again until January 8, when they host Cagliari.
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