Rami opens account but Milan held by Torino
French defender Adil Rami scored his maiden goal for AC Milan but Rossoneri hopes of a third consecutive league win under new coach Clarence Seedorf were kept in check by a frustrating 1-1 draw with Torino.
An air of revival has hung over Milan since former club hero Seedorf took over the reins from sacked Massimiliano Allegri just over two weeks ago.
But the banners of fans at the San Siro wishing the Dutchman well in his fledgling coaching career were carried home in despair as the hosts struggled to convince against a Torino side seemingly intent on playing on the counter.
Milan remain ninth, 27 points behind leaders Juventus and 15 behind third-placed Napoli in the first Champions League qualifying spot but could drop a place or two depending on Lazio and Genoa's respective results on Sunday.
Seedorf said Milan were still to find their rhythm but admitted Torino's defensive tactics had caused problems.
"The lads are still growing together as a team and it will need time for everyone to click together," Seedorf told Sky Sport Italia.
"Overall we had a positive game but we were up against a Torino side who defended in numbers and were waiting to strike on the counter."
With Torino's last win at Milan coming in the 1984/85 season, coach Giampiero Ventura was more than happy with a point which kept his side in sixth place level on points with Inter.
"Our first half was very positive, in the second we dropped off a little but we totally deserved a share of the points," he said.
With Mario Balotelli suspended, Giampaolo Pazzini stepped in and after just two minutes he turned on Robinho's low delivery to send a deflected shot just over Daniele Padelli's crossbar.
Milan had the early control, but were stunned on 17 minutes when Ciro Immobile latched on to a long ball from midfield and shook off Daniele Bonera on the left to beat Christian Abbiati with a right-foot shot at the keeper's far post.
Pazzini almost levelled soon after when he pounced on the rebound from Robinho's shot only to see his spectacular bicycle kick blocked by Padelli.
Torino spurned a great chance to double their lead just before the half hour when Swede Alexander Farnerud headed over from Ciro Immobile's deft chip from the right.
Milan found the breakthrough four minutes after the restart when French international Rami was given space on the edge of the area to unleash a shot which beat Padelli thanks to a deflection.
But despite dominating play for much of the second half and making a series of late substitutions the hosts were unable to conjure the magic required to break down Torino's packed defence.
Earlier, Fiorentina's promising run towards the league's three coveted Champions League places was temporarily halted by a first defeat of the year in a 1-0 reverse away to Cagliari.
Fiorentina remain in fourth although Napoli could extend their lead over the Florence side to six points with victory away to Atalanta on Sunday.
Struggling Udinese, meanwhile, ended a run of four straight defeats with a 2-0 away win at relegation-threatened Bologna to claim their first league win of the year.
Veteran striker Antonio Di Natale's penalty put the northerners within sight of their first victory since a 2-1 away win at Livorno prior to Christmas and Nico Lopez hit their second in injury time.
Cagliari and Udinese moved up one place to 13th and 14th respectively ahead of the remainder of the weekend fixtures while Bologna could drop into the relegation zone depending on Sassuolo and Livorno's respective results.
Juventus, who hold a six-point lead on Roma, host Inter Milan in Sunday's eagerly-awaited late game with Roma hosting Parma at the Olympic Stadium earlier in the day.