Inter stalemate leaves Juve free to make it nine in a row

MILAN (AFP) – Inter Milan’s goalless draw against Fiorentina early yesterday left Juventus needing just one more win to claim a ninth consecutive Serie A title.

Juve are six points clear of second-placed Atalanta and can claim their 36th Scudetto with a win at struggling Udinese.

Antonio Conte’s Inter are third, one point behind Atalanta with three games to play, despite having dominated for long periods under the rain at the San Siro.

“Second place is for losers,” said Conte, who coached Juventus to three of their current run of eight titles and then went on to win the Premier League and FA Cup with Chelsea.

“I understand that there are those who are satisfied with this, but for me it is meaningless.

Fiorentina’s Martin Caceres vies for the ball against Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku during the Serie A match at the San Siro stadium. PHOTO: AP

“When you leave points, it means that there are shortcomings.”

A Romelu Lukaku header hit the woodwork after 18 minutes with Alexis Sanchez also missing a chance for the winner just after the break.

Fiorentina goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano pulled off a string of saves denying Nicolo Barella and Lukaku from close range.

Inter’s place in the Champions League next season is assured but they could now finish fourth, with Lazio four points back ahead of their match with 13th-placed Cagliari.

“This year we have reaped less than what we have sown,” continued Conte.

“We’re trying to work on the mentality and increase the killer-instinct, which a great team must have if it wants to fight for something important.

“But I’m happy that the players are disappointed with the result, because it means that my work is making an impact.”

Conte took over at Inter last summer, hoping to help the team win their first league title since 2010, the year of their unprecedented treble under Jose Mourinho.

Roma, meanwhile, move back fifth ahead of AC Milan, who beat Sassuolo on Tuesday, after routing already-relegated SPAL 6-1.