Inter Milan's Mancini glad of close title race

May 10, 2008

MILAN, May 10 (Reuters) - Roberto Mancini was happy the Italian title race had gone down to the penultimate weekend of the season, the Inter Milan coach said on Saturday.

The Serie A leaders, who romped to the championship last year, were 11 points clear in February but second-placed AS Roma have whittled their advantage down to three points.

Inter missed the chance to seal the scudetto when they lost 2-1 to AC Milan last weekend but will retain their title with a win at home to Siena on Sunday.

'I was hoping it would be like this. I was hoping for it to be a hard-fought championship until the end. You value things more if you manage to win,' Mancini told a news conference.

Inter will be crowned champions with a win even if Roma beat Atalanta on Sunday because of a better head-to-head record.

Siena are safe from relegation after last weekend's victory over Juventus but Mancini does not think that will make Sunday's game any easier.

'I think they can play with more composure now they're safe. The dangers are in facing a team that has nothing to lose. They will play to win the game. It will depend on us,' he said.