ROME // The AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti said yesterday's 1-0 derby win over champions Inter Milan showed his side have pulled out of their early-season crisis. The Brazil forward Ronaldinho headed his first goal in Serie A to give Milan their third consecutive league win after they had lost their opening games against Bologna and Genoa. They also beat FC Zurich 3-1 in a Uefa Cup tie on Sept 18.
"I think yes (the crisis is over). Usually in these situations you say we haven't done anything yet, but in reality over the last 10 days we've done things really well," Ancelotti told Sky television. His Brazilian talisman, Kaka, agreed. "Yes, it's three or four matches we have won now. It's a sequence of victories, although naturally the championship is long," the Brazil schemer said when asked if his side had pulled through their troubles.
Kaka also expressed his delight for the former Barcelona forward Ronaldinho, who had started the last two league games on the bench and was dropped by Brazil last week for next month's World Cup qualifiers amid concerns about his fitness. "It's great to see," Kaka said. "He's brought lots of quality and other things that this team needed and you can see that he is hungry to be a really great player again."
Inter Milan surrendered their lead in Serie A with the defeat, falling two points behind leaders Lazio and a point behind Napoli, who beat Torino and Bologna respectively earlier on Sunday. But their coach Jose Mourinho was not downbeat after suffering his first competitive defeat since he replacing Roberto Mancini, who was sacked in May. "It was a game in which neither side prevailed," Mourinho said.
"The title pretenders are still behind us. Being afraid to play is worse than losing. We aren't afraid and tomorrow we'll resume our title journey, which is a marathon." Inter have 10 points from five games, one more than Milan and Juventus and three more than last year's runners-up Roma. *Reuters