Milan had trailed to goals from Lorenzo Insigne and Gokhlan Inler, but the El Shaarawy brace gave them a crucial point.
Elsewhere leaders Juventus were also held to a draw by Lazio, 0-0.
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The reputation of the Premier League means it is the most popular and one of the most watched leagues in the world.
Five English clubs will compete in the last sixteen of the Champions League for the first time ever as Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham face some difficult away matches.