Soccer-Inter not focused on clinching title in Milan derby, Inzaghi says


Soccer Football - Serie A - Udinese v Inter Milan - Dacia Arena, Udine, Italy - April 8, 2024 Inter Milan coach Simone Inzaghi before the match REUTERS/Alberto Lingria/ File Photo

(Reuters) - Inter Milan manager Simone Inzaghi said his side were prepared for an emotional derby against AC Milan on Monday but were not fixated on clinching the Serie A title by defeating their rivals.

Runaway leaders Inter are 14 points ahead of second-placed Milan with six matches left, and a win at the San Siro would secure their 20th Scudetto.

"We've had a magnificent ride, tomorrow could be a very important day for all of us but we're not experiencing it as an obsession," Inzaghi told reporters on Sunday.

"We had a dominant season, now the climb is about to end but we know what we have done."

History is on Inter's side as they have won the last five clashes against Stefano Pioli's Milan, including a Champions League semi-final two-leg thriller last season.

"The derby is always the derby, so there are excellent emotions," Inzaghi said.

"The stakes are very high but we know well that we have won the last five derbies and they have given us great joy, they have allowed us to reach the Champions League final, but we know that tomorrow that counts for nothing.

"Victories and trophies in football count a lot. But I am happy with what we have managed to create, as a synergy, together with the club, the team, the fans," he said.

Inzaghi declined to comment on the pressure on Pioli after Milan's recent lacklustre results, including a Europa League quarter-final exit against AS Roma.

"I can say that for me he is a great coach and an excellent person," he said.

"He had an excellent journey at Milan, then what could his future be I can’t say that. I wish him the best from Tuesday."

Inzaghi praised Inter's supporters, saying: "The fans have always been close to us, today there are so many of them and then together with the team we will go to say goodbye to them.

"They deserve it, once they reached the finish line it was done by all working together, from the players to everyone else."

(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; editing by Clare Fallon)

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