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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Since Guus Hiddink arrived at the helm, Chelsea have improved considerably after a tricky start to the campaign.
Newcastle United are staring down the barrel of relegation to the Championship for the second time in the past eight years.