Roma and AC Milan Saturday played out a scoreless draw that thwarted both sides' efforts to close in on Serie A leaders Inter Milan, dpa reported.
Milan inched to within three points of the title holders, who could set a six-point cushion as they close the weekend late Sunday with a home game against Genoa, one of the several teams looking to secure a berth in next season's continental tournaments.
Roma notched their 17th unbeaten game, but lag three points behind Milan.
The Devils were on the ropes in the early minutes with Roma captain Daniele De Rossi firing wide and Brazilian Julio Baptista forcing Christian Abbiati's great save from the distance on nine minutes.
A high drive from Luca Antonini on 22 minutes was Milan's first attempt and provided a wake up call for his side, particularly for a striking trio manned by Brazil star Ronaldinho, Marco Borriello and Dutchman Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
Borriello fired wide before Roma defender Nicolas Cambiasso almost scored into his own goal to deflect a cross from Mathieu Flamini and forced a difficult save from Julio Sergio after the break.
Milan kept up a brisk pace as Roma brought on striker Luca Toni, who on 58 minutes came on for Baptista to end a long injury layoff.
Two saves from Julio Sergio denied a flick and a lob from Huntelaar, while Milan ran a major risk despite their dominance when Mirko Vucinic on 73 minutes nodded wide by a hairsbreadth of a cross from John Riise.
Substitute David Beckham also provided an inviting cross, but Ronaldinho made a similar mistake and graced his compatriot Julio Sergio from few metres off.
Final missing chances brought the signature of Huntelaar, who fired high from few metres away, while Riise saw Abbiati make a great deflection on his nasty shot.
Earlier Saturday, goals from Brazil forward Diego and Fabio Grosso helped Juventus snatch a 2-1 win at Fiorentina Saturday to claw back fourth place.
The last available Champions League berth could be back in the hands of Palermo, who beat and leapfrogged Juve last week, when they welcome lowly guests Livorno on Sunday.