TURIN - Inter Milan's battling 1-1 draw at second-placed Juventus on Saturday did not clinch the Serie A title although it did leave coach Jose Mourinho basking in a warm glow. His players, although not exceptional, matched their bitter rivals throughout thanks to sheer physical power and were moments away from recording a famous victory that would have all but sealed a fourth straight scudetto. A 10-point lead with six games left means Inter's triumph is surely only a matter of time but Mourinho, in his first season with the Milan side, is keen for his players to keep up their high standards right until the end. "I like playing in the stadium of an historic club, drawing and seeing all the joy of a team that can return home with a 10-point advantage," Mourinho told reporters. "Inter have shown today why we are at the top of the table, why we are the best, why we are the strongest." Juve, who had Tiago sent off after 75 minutes, levelled in injury time when Zdenek Grygera's header cancelled out Mario Balotelli's 64th minute strike. "With the goal we marked everyone but Grygera appeared like an extra man in the area," Mourinho added. "The game, however, was under our control. Juve's joy at the end of the match is a great demonstration of their respect for us." Once the scudetto is won, Mourinho will try to work out how to transfer Inter's Serie A dominance into European success. Four signings are mooted with media reports saying Inter and Juve are chasing Napoli's Marek Hamsik, Genoa striker Diego Milito and Werder Bremen playmaker Diego among others. Juve boss Claudio Ranieri, whose side have not won in three games, is not thinking about the close season yet. He is more worried about third-placed AC Milan being three points behind. "I am satisfied with a draw given we had a man less and were down by a goal. We must take lots of points and then see what happens. We want to make sure of second spot," he said.
19 April 2009
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