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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Mourinho mocks 'loser' Ranieri's preparations

Inter Milan manager Jose Mourinho has launched an attack on Claudio Ranieri on the club's official website, saying the Roma coach was considered a "loser" at Chelsea as well as mocking his match preparations.

Coppa Italia report

Inter, currently leading Serie A two points ahead of Roma, kept their hopes of a treble alive on Wednesday night as they saw off Ranieri's men 1-0 to clinch the Coppa Italia in a bad-tempered match in which Roma captain Francesco Totti was dismissed.

The relationship between the clubs has not been good in recent times, and Mourinho has been referred to the Italian Football Federation's (FIGC) disciplinary commission over comments he made suggesting Roma could offer Siena a financial incentive to beat Inter on the final day of the Serie A season.

Ranieri was unhappy about Mourinho's behaviour and said: "This is not the kind of football I like. I'm different, as I like respect and I give respect. It's too easy to motivate a squad by creating a siege mentality and feeling under attack from everyone.

"Sport is an important vehicle for Italian society. Behaving like this is launching ticking time bombs. I am a man of sport and I like football.

"Is Mourinho a phenomenon? It is the media that gives him that aura. For me he is a good coach and I won't add anything more."

Mourinho has hit back at those remarks and, amid reports Ranieri had tried to inspire his players by showing them the film Gladiator, suggested his predecessor at Chelsea was treating his team like children.

In a statement on the Inter website, Mourinho said: "Bearing in mind that on Wednesday night Roma should've ended the Coppa Italia final with six men on the field, seeing as Philippe Mexes, Francesco Totti, Rodrigo Taddei and Nicolas Burdisso did what was necessary to get sent off, today there was talk of how to motivate players.

"You do it every day by working with the squad, session after session. You certainly don't do it by showing the team a film before a cup final. Players are professionals. They should not be treated like children.

"We preferred to work on the field and study Roma carefully to find their weak points. If before a match I made my team watch Gladiator, they'd start laughing or call the doctor asking if I was ill.

"I don't think I am a phenomenon, but I never cried over spilt milk and always worked hard to help my team.

"Before the Coppa Italia final, I watched six Roma games to find their weak points, spending three hours on each at the computer running programmes that help my work.

"Of course, it's easier to just pick a movie to project before a match, but Ranieri has forgotten his players are champions and not children.

"I never said I was a phenomenon, but it's certainly not my fault if, in 2004 after coming to Chelsea and asking why Ranieri was replaced, I was told they wanted to win and it was never going to happen with him.

"It is really not my fault if he was considered a loser at Chelsea."

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