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Conte plays down title row as Juventus win Serie A

Victory at Cagliari enough for Turin side to be champions as AC Milan lose to Inter.

Juventus' Marco Borriello (unseen) celebrates with his team mates after scoring against Cagliari during their Serie A soccer match at the Nereo Rocco stadium in Trieste May 6, 2012. Juventus won Serie A for the first time since the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal on Sunday, clinching the title with a 2-0 win at Calgiari as AC Milan lost 4-2 to arch-rivals Inter in a stormy derby.   REUTERS/Giorgio Perottino (ITALY - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)
Juventus' Marco Borriello (unseen) celebrates with his team mates after scoring against Cagliari during their Serie A soccer match at the Nereo Rocco stadium in Trieste May 6, 2012. Juventus won Serie A for the first time since the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal on Sunday, clinching the title with a 2-0 win at Calgiari as AC Milan lost 4-2 to arch-rivals Inter in a stormy derby. REUTERS/Giorgio Perottino (ITALY - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

Antonio Conte graciously side-stepped controversial talk about the number of titles Juventus have won after guiding his side to the scudetto crown with a 2-0 win over Cagliari.

That, coupled with AC Milan's 4-2 defeat by Inter Milan in their city derby, ensured Juve cannot be caught at the top of Serie A with one match to go.

According to the record books it is Juve's 28th title as they were stripped of their 2005 and 2006 wins for match-fixing.

But while general manager Giuseppe Marotta continued to insist they have won 30 league championships, Conte chose instead to take a diplomatic line.

"For me it's the first, the first I've won as coach," said the man who won five titles at Juve as a player.

"These are fantastic emotions. We really are happy. It's all down to the players but honour also goes to those who have been beaten. Milan were very strong opponents.

"When we trailed by a point I understood that my team was still full of energy, whereas (Milan) were a bit tired.

"Finishing the league season unbeaten would be something historic."

They have matched AC Milan's record 42-match unbeaten run in all competitions and if Juve avoid defeat in their final match of the season at home to Atalanta, they will surpass that.

But Marotta could not help but re-open old wounds by refusing to accept his team's punishment for having cheated their way to two titles.

"It's absolutely our 30th title. We've even written it on the labels of the (champagne) bottles because we've won 30," he told Sky Sport.

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon thanked Inter for their helping hand.

"Thanks to the lads at Inter. I know (Inter captain) Javier Zanetti. Every so often I send him a message and this time I asked him for help, telling him not to make any jokes," said Buffon.

"This is my biggest joy after winning the World Cup in 2006 (with Italy).

"I've won five (titles), but if then I only get assigned three - amen, what can I do?"

For club captain Alessandro Del Piero it was the perfect way to finish his career at the club and he said this made up for being relegated with Juve over the Calciopoli match-fixing affair.

"Tonight is payback for many things, starting with what happened in 2006," he said. "It's a strange epilogue (to his Juve career) but I'm enjoying it. After playing in Serie B, tonight has a special taste.

"It's a great story and I'm happy to be a part of it."

AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri was gracious in defeat after a hat-trick from Inter's Diego Milito helped sink his side and insisted he was proud of his own players' efforts.

"They deserved to win a close title race between two sides who got a lot of points," he said.

"We have to accept the verdict from the pitch. Despite all the trials, tribulations and the many injuries, we fought right to the end.

"And next year we'll be there again, contenders as ever. Even tonight (Sunday), we did our best to try to win the derby."

And although his side missed out, Allegri pointed to the fact that Juve did not play in Europe this season, giving them more time to rest in between league encounters.

And that, he insisted, shows there is nothing between the teams.

"There's no gap, in my opinion. Next year Juve will have to play in the Champions League, which is a competition that has a big influence on your season.

"I'll be interested to see how they react to that."

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