Muntari seals Inter win over Juve

Jose Mourinho
The “Special One” is working his magic with Inter

Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan claimed a 1-0 home win over rivals Juventus to go four points clear in Italy’s Serie A.

The ‘derby of Italy’ had been eagerly awaited due to Mourinho’s rivalry with Juve coach Claudio Ranieri – his predecessor at former club Chelsea.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic twice went close for Inter in each half, while Sulley Muntari forced Juventus goalkeeper Alex Manninger into two good saves.

But with 18 minutes left Muntari converted Ibrahimovic’s scuffed effort.

Inter deserved it because they pressed and stopped us playing our game
Juve coach Claudio Ranieri

“Juve played a negative game,” said Mourinho, who had earlier criticised the 57-year-old Ranieri, claiming that he was too old and had lacked a knowledge of English in his time with Chelsea.

“I understood during the week how important it is for Inter to beat Juventus.

“To beat a team like Juventus you have to play very well. We scored a goal that wasn’t beautiful but it is three points to us.”

Mourinho sprung a selection surprise by recalling Brazilian forward Adriano, who had been dropped for the previous four league games for breaches of discipline.

“Adriano gave what the team needed up against two defenders like Giorgio Chiellini and Nicola Legrottaglie,” added Mourinho.

“We needed someone like Adriano and the goal showed this as he took two defenders away from the play. He also helped us defensively. We knew we would win if we made no mistakes.

“I have an intelligent team and they did everything they needed to do to win.”

The victory ended third-placed Juve’s streak of seven wins in a row in all competitions and leaves Ranieri’s side six points behind Inter.

“Inter deserved it because they pressed and stopped us playing our game,” said Ranieri, who was sacked by Chelsea in 2004 to make way for Mourinho.

Their fierce rivalry between the two clubs intensified in 2006 when Juve were stripped of the title and demoted in a match-fixing scandal, leaving Inter to be awarded the Serie A title.

Shortly afterwards Inter signed Ibrahimovic and Patrick Vieira from their rivals.

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