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Gattuso wary of slip up

ROME, January 10- Combative midfielder Gennaro Gattuso believes Milan risk throwing away the Serie A title after fighting back three times to snatch a 4-4 draw at home to Udinese.Milan trailed 1-0 and 3-1 before also heading into injury time 4-3 down but they kept fighting back to eventually earn a hard-earned point.

"If we don’t win the title this year we won’t win it again," he said after the San Siro encounter.

"It’s true we had a number of players missing but our weakness showed in the goals we conceded, we have to give more."

Milan have twice had the potential to open up big leads with a home victory, but have taken only one point from their last two home games.

They lost 1-0 to Roma at the end of December and looked for much of Sunday’s game as if they were heading for defeat again.

Their one saving grace is that none of their closest rivals have been taking advantage.

Lazio lost at home to lowly Lecce on Sunday, Juventus lost at home to Parma on Thursday while Napoli lost at Inter Milan that same day.

In fact if champions Inter, who are now 11 points behind Milan, were to win their two games in hand, they could become Milan’s closest rivals.

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"There’s work to do because if Inter win their two games they’ll be five points back and that’s what worries me," added Gattuso.

"We know they’re a great team, with or without (new coach and former Milan boss) Leonardo."

However, one reason for confidence according to Gattuso is new signing Antonio Cassano who set up Milan’s last two goals after coming off the bench, adding to the winner he created against Cagliari in midweek.

"It’s not a surprise, he’s not in top shape, he’s carry a few too many kilos but he’s already made three goals: hats off to him.

"Antonio knows this is his last chance but it seems like he’s been in our dressing room for a lifetime."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored the late injury time leveller, agrees that Cassano’s arrival is a boost.

"He’s a great player, he made two goals. His arrival can only be positive, he’s the player we were missing," he said.

"We conceded four goals at home, we scored four but we didn’t win, I find that strange but it can happen. The most important thing is that we were losing 3-1 but still got a result."

Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri claimed he was happy with his players, although he was upset at having lost the best defensive record in the league.

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"Udinese played really well, they caused us problems, especially in the first half," he said.

"After the break we were careless a few times but we did well to get a draw, I think the draw is fair. My lads played a great match particularly in terms of character.

"I’m disappointed because until now we had the best defence with just 13 goals conceded but we conceded four in one go.

"I hope they’ll be the last but that’s a tough ask, we’ll concede more."

Antonio Di Natale had given Udinese the lead after Gokhan Inler hit the post.

Pato equalised just before half-time but Alexis Sanchez put Udinese back in front just after the break.

When Di Natale bagged his second it seemed as if Milan would lose at home again but a Mehdi Benatia own goal and Pato’s second levelled matters.

German Denis seemed to have won it for Udinese a minute from time until Ibrahimovic’s late equaliser.

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