Friday, 15 May 2009

Barca and Inter are stumbling over the finish line

"So close we can taste it"

That was the thought of one Inter fan before their match with Chievo last Sunday. An Inter victory coupled with a draw between Milan and Juventus would have sealed the Nerazzurri’s fourth consecutive Scudetto. Prior to the game Inter received the blessing of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who said that Inter are "the best team in Serie A and deserve to win the Scudetto."

Rather unsurprisingly Inter boss Jose Mourinho refused to get carried away with Berlusconi’s comments saying: "but if tomorrow evening the difference between Inter and Milan is 4 points, I think he'll see things differently come Monday. Politicians are good at changing the subject."

Wise words indeed. And Mourinho was right to be wary as his side could only draw in Verona, with Luciano’s 73rd minute strike upsetting the Serie A odds and securing a point for Chievo - again leaving the door ajar for City rivals Milan. A door that looked a few weeks ago to be closed, locked and bolted.

With only one win in five Inter are failing to seal the deal as far as the title is concerned. Milan, conversely, are hitting form at the right time. Although their draw with Juventus at the weekend halted a five match winning streak, they remain unbeaten in nine matches. But it would still take a remarkable set of results to overhaul the seven point gap at the top.

Another side failing to secure the title is Barca. Fresh from the demolition of Real Madrid in El Clasico and the drama of Stamford Bridge things got even better for Guardiola’s men when Madrid were hammered 3-0 at the Mestalla against Valencia. Nine goals conceded in their last two suggests Real’s brave effort to claw back Barca’s lead at top is at an end.

It all meant that Barca fans were ready for a party when they gathered at the Nou Camp on Sunday evening. A victory over Villarreal would have been enough and they led 3-1 deep into the 2nd half. But late goals from Matias Fernández and Joseba Llorente prevented the Blaugrana from...

Read the rest of my guest blog voer at Extra-football.

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