Fatigue has become a dominant theme of the season, with the late start creating a demanding schedule for teams with European commitments, but until recently, AC Milan had put on a good show of being unaffected by its own relentless run.

Stefano Pioli’s young side began December by going five points clear on top of Serie A and winning its Europa League group.

Yet cracks have since started to show. The Serie A leader fought back from two goals down at home to Parma to salvage a 2-2 draw on Sunday, before striking back twice to earn the same result at relegation-battling Genoa on Wednesday.

The draws kept Milan’s unbeaten run intact but allowed rival Inter Milan to cut the gap at the top to just one point ahead of a weekend in which Inter hosts Spezia and Milan faces a difficult trip to Sassuolo.

Injuries have played their part in the Rossoneri’s mini-slump, with key men Simon Kjaer, Theo…

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