Leonardo still confident on title chances

Inter Milan boss Leonardo insists his side’s hopes of retaining their Serie A title remain intact despite their 1-0 defeat to Juventus on Sunday.

New Juve striker Alessandro Matri scored the only goal of the game in Turin, when he powered home a header from just seven yards out on the half-hour mark.

The loss saw Inter slip behind Lazio to fourth, eight points behind league leaders AC Milan, although they have a game in hand over their fierce rivals.

With nine wins from his 11 games in charge since taking over from the sacked Rafael Benitez in December, Leonardo is adamant his side can still challenge for the Scudetto.

“Looking at the results of the last few weeks the table changes a lot, we’ve had a good run to get into the fight,” Leonardo said.

“On Wednesday we have another good opportunity (against Fiorentina). Everything is like it was before – there are still many games to go, 14 for us and 13 for the others.”

Despite the loss, the Brazilian insisted he was not completely dissatisfied with his team’s performance.

“There are positives, I’m satisfied with the second half,” he said.

“We lacked general brilliance in the first half but in the second we had the chance to come back.”

“We started slowly in the first but in the second we fought to the end, we tried every way to score.”

Juve boss Luigi Delneri was delighted with his side’s second win in succession, a result which sees them climb into sixth in Serie A and breathes life into their title challenge which had looked to be faltering after back-to-back defeats to Palermo and Udinese.

Delneri said the team had worked hard to push through a difficult period of results and hailed the influence of his January signings, strikers Matri and Luca Toni and defender Andrea Barzagli.

“It was an important game against an Inter team who were in good form and have great quality but we had good chances to finish the game,” he said.

“Barzagli, Toni and Matri are important acquisitions for the balance of the team.”

“We’ve come through a difficult period psychologically and this win gives us security in what we’re doing.”