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Inter lands 17th league crown as Milan loses

INTER Milan retained its Serie A title with three games to spare after second-placed AC Milan put in a weak performance to lose 1-2 at Udinese on Saturday.

Inter's triumph, in former Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho's first season in charge, is its fourth straight scudetto and its 17th overall.

The champion, which was to celebrate its success in yesterday's home match with Siena, holds a seven-point lead with Milan only having two games left.

Fans quickly congregated in Milan's central square, Piazza Duomo, to wave flags and celebrate the title while television pictures showed Inter players dancing at their team retreat and taking a late-night celebratory bus ride.

Mourinho has now won titles with Porto, Chelsea and Inter. "I'm a bit angry because the team should already be in bed but they have decided to take the bus and go to Milan. But I understand their desire to celebrate," he joked on Inter's Website.

"For my part I still don't feel a symbol of Inter. There's still some work to do on this. We'll try and do it next year."

Milan's defeat gave Inter President Massimo Moratti an extra reason to party on his 64th birthday.

"It's the first time I've celebrated a birthday by winning a scudetto. They did very well to give me this present," he said.

Milan's Paolo Maldini, who retires at the end of the season, had a night to forget on his 900th appearance for the Rossoneri.

The 40-year-old pulled down Antonio Floro Flores in the 31st minute to allow Gaetano D'Agostino to fire home a penalty and then failed to clear a corner before Cristian Zapata slammed the ball in at the far post early in the second half.

Massimo Ambrosini headed home in stoppage time for Milan, which is not yet assured of an automatic Champions League spot and has question marks hanging over the future of coach Carlo Ancelotti - continually linked with Chelsea.

Udinese's win also put it three points behind sixth-placed AS Roma, which beat Catania 4-3, in the race for the final Europa League berth.

Inter has now joined Milan on 17 Italian titles with Juventus leading on 27.


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