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By ESPN Staff

Ancelotti claims fresh start after Milan derby win

AC Milan narrowed the gap on city rivals Internazionale with a 1-0 win in the 269th Derby della Madonnina on Sunday night, leaving their coach Carlo Ancelotti ready to turn the page and look to a brighter future.

Ancelotti's position was in doubt after two consecutive defeats at the start of the season, but they are now just three points adrift of Serie A leaders Lazio and one behind the Nerazzurri after three wins in a row.

As far as Ancelotti is concerned, their struggles are a thing of the past.

''Two defeats in the first two games taught us a lot, but we are doing well and have recovered from the ugly start we made,'' he said. ''This was our chance to end talk of that ugly start, and we have taken it. It is time to start from scratch again.''

Inter coach Jose Mourinho insisted the defeat - his first since taking charge - could have been avoided.

After falling behind to a goal from Ronaldinho after 36 minutes, Nicolas Burdisso was sent off before Marco Materazzi, who had already been substituted, was dismissed from the bench.

Had Burdisso not been punished with a second yellow card, Mourinho feels the game could have taken on a different complexion.

''The only thing I would have changed was my third substitution,'' he said. ''I wanted to bring (Mario) Balotelli on and play with just three defenders, and I could have done that with 11 men, but when you only have 10 on the field, it is impossible to do this.

''Furthermore, in a game like this, Patrick (Vieira) risked ending the match in the dressing room, so that is why I replaced him.''

Tensions were high in a feisty encounter played out in front of 80,000 fans at the San Siro, most of whom were supporting the Rossoneri and, according to Ancelotti, this made it even harder for his team to prevail.

''I think Inter came into this game with far less pressure than us,'' he said. ''They were top, four points above us and it is normal that they had less pressure. I think Milan were the strongest tonight whereas in the five games so far this season, Inter have been stronger.'' Mourinho, on the other hand, preferred to let the facts do the talking.

''There was one goal for them, three points for them and the compliments go to them, and this is the only thing we can agree on,'' he said. I respect Carlo's opinion because they were under more pressure. If they lost, they had six points, but if we lost, we were still ahead.

''It did not come down to motivation because we had the same motivation we have had in the games we won. We have lost the game, we have lost the points, but the team has not lost anything because my lads had a great desire to do well.''

Nevertheless, Inter ended the fifth round of their title defence in fourth place in Serie A behind Lazio, Napoli and Catania.

''With all due respect, I don't look at Lazio, Atalanta and Catania; I look at Milan, Juve and Roma and they are all behind us,'' he added. ''With one point more than Juve and Milan and three more than Roma, I would not change our situation.''


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