Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini warned his side not to make the same mistakes as Roma two years ago when the Giallorossi threw away the chance to challenge for the scudetto. Inter sit two points clear at the top of the Italian Serie A table after a 1-0 derby win over AC Milan last week, a victory that prompted Mancini to reiterate his side’s title hopes after four years of failed challenges.
Mancini said Friday those chances would improve if Inter remained top of the league after their opening ten games, although he was quick to cite Roma’s spectacular fall out of contention in 2013 after they had made a record-setting start to the season.
“Two years ago Roma won ten consecutive games but didn’t win the league. Starting well is important, but it’s a long season,” said Mancini. “We’ve done well so far but we have to keep it up. The championship will settle down after 10 games, and the teams that are all fighting for the title will be close to each other. Including Juventus and Milan, who are used to winning games on the trot.”
Inter are the only side to have won their opening three games, but a tricky away trip to Chievo on Sunday will test their resolve, especially as the visitors could be missing defenders Joao Miranda and Juan Jesus through injury. Chievo have hit eight goals in their three games so far to sit among a group of teams that are only two points behind Inter, and Mancini hopes his players’ feet are back on the ground after the elation of last week’s win.
“It’s never easy to beat AC Milan in the derby,” said Mancini, who won seven trophies including three consecutive league titles on his previous spell at the club from 2004 to 2008. “We’re happy but that doesn’t mean we’ll go to Verona believing it will be an easy game. Chievo are one of the most in-form teams in the league and games against sides like them are never easy.”
Champions Juventus, eight points adrift of Inter in a lowly 16th place, travel to Genoa on Sunday looking for their first league win of the campaign after a morale-boosting 2-1 victory over Manchester City in their Champions League opener in midweek. Roma, who held Barcelona in midweek, host Sassuolo on Sunday when Napoli, who are also yet to win a league game so far, host Lazio. AC Milan, meanwhile, host Palermo on Saturday night.