(CNN) -- David Beckham made a surprise start for AC Milan as they were held 2-2 by AS Roma in the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday night.
Beckham stayed on the pitch for all but a minute of regular time in his Serie A debut.
The on-loan former football icon was expected to take his place on the bench for the Serie A clash in the Italian capital city but Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti included him in his first choice line up.
Beckham played for 89 minutes before being replaced by former Arsenal star Mathieu Flamini.
Milan fell behind to a goal by Mirko Vucinic in the 22nd minute, but hit back to level through Alexandre Pato just after the half time interval.
Milan, who needed three points to close the gap on Serie leaders and city rivals Inter, took the lead through Brazil star Pato in the 53rd minute, but Vucinic hit back to level with just under 20 minutes remaining.
The draw leaves former European champions Milan nine points adrift of Inter after 18 rounds.
Juventus closed the gap over Inter in second place to four points as an Alessandro Del Piero goal gave the Turin giants a 1-0 home win over Siena earlier on Sunday.
Playing in a wide right position, Beckham, who has been loaned to Milan from Major League Soccer side Los Angeles Galaxy until March, had no part to play in the Milan goals but gave a steady display after a break from competitive football.
He has chosen to play for Milan to improve his chances of a recall to the England side under Italian coach Fabio Capello.
Beckham is surrounded by world class footballers at Milan, taking his place for his first Serie A game behind Brazilian stars Kaka, Ronaldinho and Pato.