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Antonio Cassano bailed out AC Milan at San Siro on Sunday after the striker’s effort eight minutes from time secured a point for Massimiliano Allegri’s side, while the Italian’s strike partner, Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw red midway through the second half.

Gergely Rudolf gave Bari the lead in the first half and defended well against and the Serie A leaders, who endured a frustrating afternoon in front of goal.

Allegri’s men are now five points clear of second-placed Inter but they failed to take full advantage of Leonardo’s men slipping up at Brescia on Friday.

AC Milan started the game brightly, controlling possession and passing the ball around comfortably. Still, Jean-Francois Gillet did not have much to do early on as the hosts were unable to create any significant chances.

Robinho had a good opportunity to head in from six yards in the 7th minute after being picked out by Ignazio Abate, but failed to convert. Shortly after, Sergio Almiron had a header from the centre of the box saved by Christian Abbiati.

Ibrahimovic was causing problems for Bari in the penalty box, but could not really test Gillet with his finishing.

But against the run of play, Bari took the lead through Rudolf in the 39th minute. The striker took advantage of some poor defending by AC Milan from a free-kick and was released by Almiron on the left side of the box before finishing with precision into the left corner.

The hosts tried to draw the game level before half-time, but were ultimately unable to do so. Bari, at the foot of Serie A, were on course to achieve a famous victory.

AC Milan started the second half with fire and had a goal disallowed for a debatable offside just two minutes after the break. Ibrahimovic headed a long ball in the path of Robinho who finished from six yards out, but it was ruled out.

Allegri’s men were tightening their grip on the game and Gillet was forced into a good save on Robinho in the 50th minute.

Ten minutes later, Ibrahimovic had another goal disallowed after he allegedly controlled the ball with his hand in the penalty are semi-circle before blasting his volley past Bari’s goalkeeper.

AC Milan went close again in the 65th minute when substitute Erik Huseklepp somehow managed to prevent Urby Emanuelson from scoring from three yards out. Ibrahimovic tried to win a penalty for his team moments later with a blatant dive, but the referee was having none of it.

The league leaders were looking increasingly desperate and frustrated and to make things worse, Ibrahimovc was sent off in the 73rd minute for a needless foul.

Susbtitute Cassano had the final say, however, as he netted the equaliser in the 82nd minute.

Following today’s result, AC Milan are still first in the standings with 61 points, while Bari are rock bottom of Serie A on 17 points, nine adrift of Brescia.

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