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By ESPN Staff
Dec 6, 2009

Buffon hails Ferrara influence

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon hailed the influence of coach Ciro Ferrara after the Old Lady posted a 2-1 win over Inter Milan on Saturday to breathe new life into the Serie A title race.

• Juventus 2-1 Inter Milan

Diego's free-kick, which appeared to deflect in off an Inter player, put the home side ahead in the 21st minute but Samuel Eto'o brought Inter level five minutes later.

The game was settled in the 58th minute, Claudio Marchisio hitting a superb winner as third-placed Juve moved to within five points of the leaders.

And Italy international Buffon praised Ferrara for instilling a big-game mentality into his players ahead of kick-off.

"(The build-up to the match) this week was relaxed thanks to the coach, who gave us confidence and showed faith in us,'' Buffon said. "This was quite a tough match but it was a good match and both teams played well.

"The three points we won gives us another injection of faith. Now it is important to be consistent and prove ourselves against less highly-ranked teams. I must, however, say that I never thought Juve would fail in big matches.''

Juve appeared fired up for the first of two key games this week, with a crucial Champions League decider against Bayern Munich to come on Tuesday, where defeat would spell the end of their involvement in the competition.

And Ferrara confirmed there would be no time for the players to bask in the glory of inflicting Inter's second loss of the league campaign.

"We are very happy and satisfied, it is a well-deserved victory but now we must think of Tuesday," the Juventus boss said. "I was calm because I saw the team was very charged up and motivated.

"After all, you hardly need to prepare for such matches. However, we must prepare in the same way for all matches, not only the big ones.''

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