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Serie A heavyweights head-to-head

50-50 Challenge 2 days ago
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Dec 10, 2012

Stramaccioni confident of title challenge

Inter Milan boss Andrea Stramaccioni believes his side sent a warning to Serie A leaders Juventus after defeating Napoli 2-1 on Sunday.

• Blog: Inter fight off Napoli

First-half goals from Fredy Guarin and Diego Milito were enough to ensure Edinson Cavani's 54th minute strike was a mere consolation as Inter moved into second place.

The Nerazzurri remain four points behind Juve and Stramaccioni insists Inter's dominant performance is a sign that the Scudetto is well within reach.

"We tried to limit Edinson Cavani and Marek Hamsik first of all with intelligence and humility," he said. "It is an important victory that shows we can challenge anyone. I have to compliment my players for being able to limit a great team like Napoli tonight.

"I asked Fredy Guarin to act as trequartista in the first half, then needed him to sacrifice himself marking Zuniga. I am happy with his performance."

Napoli slumped to consecutive defeats for just the second time this season, which Stramaccioni believes is a sign of Inter's strategic game plan to break down the visitors.

"Walter Mazzarri is in the third year of his project at Napoli and has found players perfectly suited to his style of football," he said. "It is my first year and I'm very satisfied, as we have a united squad that prepares well for games.

"We knew Napoli would've defended like this, so we tried to lead their players where we wanted them to be. I didn't use a trident attack because Gokhan Inler, Valon Behrami and Hamsik have too much quality and it would've been too big a risk to our own stability.

"They are great at diagonal passes and we didn't want to end up in a one-on-one with Cavani."

Diego Milito scored his eighth goal of the season which intensified the rivalry between the two clubs.

"We are happy to have beaten a great Napoli side," he told Sky Sport Italia. "We will battle with them to the end of the season and are so pleased with an excellent performance.

"Of course I am happy at scoring a goal, but above all for the victory. These are three truly important points for us. Are Inter now the anti-Juventus? It's not easy, but these games give us the belief to fight all the way. We know that we can fight for the Scudetto."

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