Milan's European hopes at risk after 0-0 draw

ROME (Reuters) - AC Milan's struggles continued as they were held to a 0-0 draw at lowly Chievo on Saturday, leaving Filippo Inzaghi's side in danger of missing out on a European spot for the second straight season. The seven-times European champions have 34 pointsfrom 25 games and are ninth in Serie A, five points behind fifth-placed Fiorentina, who hold the last definite Europa League spot and visit Inter Milan on Sunday. After a soporific first half, in which the hosts had the best chance to pull ahead in the 25th minute when goalkeeper Diego Lopez courageously dived at Sergio Pellissier's feet, Milan quickened the pace but to no avail. "It's difficult to come here and dominate," Inzaghitold Sky Sports Italia. "I want to look at it from a positive point of view - we haven't lost in three games and for the second straight match we have a clean sheet." Milan's Keisuke Honda, who had come on just after halftime to replace the injured Riccardo Montolivo, unleashed a vicious left-foot shot from just outside the area that rattled the crossbar. Chievo worked hard to avoid giving space to Jeremy Menez but the French playmaker was able to breakthrough on the right wing in the 66th minute. Menez's crisp pass into the box for Giampaolo Pazzini appeared to be perfect but Federico Mattiello arrived just in time to avoid an easy tap-in for the former Sampdoria striker. Despite finishing the match with four attackers -- Honda, Menez, Pazzini and Alessio Cerci -- Milan failed to score for the sixth time this season. The last time Milan did not play in Europe for two consecutive seasons was between 1997 and 1999. Chievo are in 16th place on 25 points, five clear of the danger zone. The big game of the round is second-placed AS Roma hosting leaders and champions Juventus on Monday. Bottom side Parma's trip to Genoa on Sunday has been postponed because of the former's financial problems.