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Inter one win away from title

INTER Milan will have to wait to celebrate a fourth straight Serie A title after drawing 2-2 with Chievo Verona on Sunday.

Jose Mourinho's team went into the match knowing that a win coupled with Juventus beating AC Milan in the late match would secure the championship.

However, Chievo had other plans, and equalized twice to secure a point as it fights to stave off relegation.

Milan's 1-1 draw with Juventus means Inter just needs to beat Siena at the San Siro next week to be win the title for the 17th time.

Inter leads with 78 points. Milan is second with 71, four more than Juventus and seven in front of Fiorentina.

"I said we needed six points, but five points over the last three matches should be enough," Mourinho said. "We have two games at home and one away, so we should be able to get the five points. Of course, I want Juventus to win because it makes our job easier, but I have other things to worry about.

"I have to say that Chievo played well and earned its point. When it was 2-1 we should have played better, but we gave Chievo its point. We gave the ball away too much, especially in dangerous areas.

Hernan Crespo put Inter in the lead when he pounced on a loose ball after Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino had spilled Esteban Cambiasso's shot.

However, Chievo came back and was level at halftime when Michele Marcolini scored from long range.

It appeared that Inter had ridden out the storm when Mario Balotelli hit a powerful half-volley from the edge of the area, but Chievo captain Luciano volleyed in Andrea Mantovani's cross in the 73rd for a share of the points.

At the San Siro, Milan and Juventus both began strongly and worked hard to create chances, but neither side found the net in the first half.

"The title is an off-limit conversation," AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti said. "Now we need one win to be certain of finishing in the top three (for automatic qualification for the Champions League group stages) and we'll try to get it next Saturday against Udinese."

In the second half, Filippo Inzaghi beat the offside trap and cut the ball back to Massimo Ambrosini. The midfielder hit a poor shot that dribbled across the goal but Clarence Seedorf tapped in the ball.

Juventus was soon level. Fullback Zdenek Grygera hit a long ball into the box and Iaquinta dived to head it low past goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac.

Fiorentina appears set to take the fourth Champions League spot after a 2-0 win away over Catania.

Goals from Stevan Jovetic in the first half and Luciano Zauri in second-half injury time put Cesare Prandelli's side three points ahead of Genoa, which could only draw 1-1 with Atalanta.


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