MILAN, Dec 17 (Reuters) - AC Milan were foiled by the woodwork and some desperate defending in a goalless draw against Atalanta at cold, foggy San Siro on Saturday.
Milan's second match without scoring meant they remained third in Serie A with 33 points, with leaders Juventus (39) and second-placed AS Roma (35) clashing in the late game. Atalanta are sixth with 29.
An end-to-end match could easily have produced several goals as both teams created chances.
Milan's effort came just before halftime when Luca Antonelli blasted a shot against the post, seconds after goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma had saved Roberto Gagliardini's header at the other end.
Milan twice got past Marco Sportiello in the second half but Gianluca Lapadula saw his shot cleared off the line by Mattia Caldara while Carlos Bacca, having rounded the Atalanta goalkeeper, was foiled by Andrea Conti's last-ditch clearance.
Earlier, Empoli, who had failed to score in 13 games this season, beat Cagliari 2-0 in a match which pitted the league's worst attack against its leakiest defence.
Levan Mchedlidze scored both goals as Empoli, 17th in the table, took their tally to a modest nine goals in 17 games, while Cagliari's defence have shipped 39.
The Sardinians, who are 14th, missed a late penalty when Joao Pedro's effort was parried by Lukasz Skorupski. (Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Clare Fallon)