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Conte concedes Turin triumph unlikely

SoccerNews in Serie A 22 Apr 2013

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Juventus boss Antonio Conte said it will be tough to be crowned as Serie A winners against rivals Torino after their 1-0 win over AC Milan.

The Italian champions took another step toward retaining their Scudetto crown against Milan thanks to Arturo Vidal’s second-half penalty strike, ensuring their lead over second-placed Napoli stays at 11 points.

The result means that – depending on how Napoli fare against Pescara next weekend – Conte’s men could secure the title by beating Torino on Sunday, though the 43-year-old coach has played down talk of winning the Scudetto in the ‘Derby della Mole’.

“I don’t want to think about when or against whom the decisive victory could come, I’m only interested in closing off the Scudetto race,” Conte told reporters.

“After that, we can celebrate and relax following a very demanding season. We know all about Torino’s desire to beat us and about the hidden dangers that await us in Sunday’s derby.”

Juve defender Giorgio Chiellini revealed the dressing room is aware of how close they are to successfully defending their title but does not necessarily believe victory in Sunday’s derby will ensure 2012-13 success.

“We now know how far away we are after this victory and we can now just think about ourselves without looking elsewhere,” he said. “But I don’t think we’ll wrap up the title on Sunday.

“We’ll give our all in the derby, both for our fans and to take us closer to our goal. But with all respect to Pescara, I think Napoli will win.

“The 11-point gap is considerable, we’ve done well to win difficult games over the past few weeks and take the wind out of the sails of the chasing pack.”

Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said they are still confident of Champions League qualification – despite dropping valuable points in the race for a group-stage spot in 2013-14 with fourth-placed Fiorentina.

Both third-placed Milan have just a one-point buffer over fourth, with goal difference equal on plus-20, but Allegri wasn’t flustered heading into the season’s final five matches.

“We are not worried,” Allegri told Sky Sport Italia.

“We have lost our first game of the year. Now we must try to do well in the next games to hold onto third place.

“We know that Fiorentina are a good side. We threw away a match point by not winning in Florence despite being 2-0 up. No our calendar becomes easier. I am confident.”

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