Mourinho shuns media as title tilt splutters

MILAN - Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho declined to talk to the media after the Serie A leaders drew 1-1 at Palermo on Saturday, the sixth time in seven league games they have failed to win.

Outspoken Mourinho is rarely lost for words and was in jubilant mood in midweek when Inter impressively beat his former side Chelsea in the Champions League last 16.

NEWS: Inter slip up at Palermo

Recent performances in Serie A though have been lacklustre, coinciding with the coach's three-game touchline ban for making a handcuffs gesture in a draw with Sampdoria and inferring Italy did not want Inter to win a fifth straight scudetto.

The Portuguese, who again left striker Mario Balotelli out of the squad after a disagreement, was back on the bench in Sicily and was therefore able to speak to the media but sent out goalkeeper Julio Cesar instead.

"I believe in my team, I believe in our strength even if we have drawn. There are lots of games left," the Brazilian shotstopper told Sky TV. "We are honestly very calm."

Third-placed AS Roma beat Udinese 4-2 on Saturday to move four points behind Inter and make it a three-horse race for the title.

Roma have nine games left and visit Bologna on Wednesday before hosting Inter next Saturday when captain Francesco Totti may be fit after another long injury layoff.

"Let's wait for the next two games and see what point we are at," said coach Claudio Ranieri, adding Inter were unlikely to be too distracted by their Champions League quarter-final with CSKA Moscow in the coming weeks.

"I think Inter's squad is big enough to play in both competitions. Sure they will have an extra thing on their mind but they have so much class."

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