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Wednesday 20 September 2017

'Most important' Milito goal secures Inter's five in a row Pep praise for Real pressure Austin builds Wembley hope Joy of sixes spurring Sligo Advocaat named Russia boss

Inter Milan hero Diego Milito was ecstatic after his solitary goal earned his club their fifth straight Scudetto yesterday. Milito struck in the 57th minute to seal a 1-0 triumph at Siena on the final day of the campaign.

The result saw Inter finish two points clear of Roma, who won 2-0 at Parma, and secures Inter's second title under coach Jose Mourinho. It also guarantees the Nerazzurri a place in the record books as the first team to win five back-to-back league titles since Juventus achieved the feat in the 1930s, and Milito was thrilled to have played a key role in the outcome.

"This is the most important goal of my career," he said. "We are happy, we deserved this."

With Roma leading 2-0 at Parma at half-time, Inter fans had a nervous wait before Milito hit Inter's goal shortly before the hour mark.

Inter president Massimo Moratti, who turned 65 yesterday, hailed the contribution of Mourinho, who has led the team to the brink of unprecedented achievement this season.

Inter's success seals a domestic double, following their victory in the final of the Coppa Italia earlier this month, and Mourinho's men will now set their sights on an historic treble when they face Bayern Munich in the Champions League final next Saturday.

"Is it fair to say that this is Mourinho's Scudetto? Certainly, this is Mourinho's Scudetto," Moratti said.



Pep praise for Real pressure

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola (right) praised his "exemplary" team after they bagged a second successive Primera Division title last night. And Guardiola claimed his side would not have achieved their record total of 99 points if not for being pushed all the way by Real Madrid.

Barca needed a win to secure a seventh trophy in less than two years under Guardiola, regardless of Madrid's result in Malaga. And the Catalans made sure as they brushed aside lowly Valladolid -- now relegated -- at the Nou Camp with another scintillating display of attacking football.

Luis Prieto's own-goal gave Barca the lead and Pedro added an excellent second shortly after, before Lionel Messi scored a second-half brace. Messi added the European Golden Shoe to his growing list of awards with a 34-goal haul this season, finishing ahead of Didier Drogba of Chelsea and Antonio Di Natale of Udinese, who scored 29 each.

Guardiola said: "They have been exemplary and I couldn't have asked for more, their effort and work has been outstanding. I have to congratulate the coach and players of Real Madrid for an extraordinary campaign.

"Without them we would have not been able to get 99 points, they have pushed us all the way. They have dignified their profession and their club."



Austin builds Wembley hope

Swindon striker Charlie Austin is aiming to cap his fairytale season with a trip to Wembley. Just eight months ago the 20-year-old was working as a bricklayer for his dad and playing for non-league side Poole Town.

But after Robins boss Danny Wilson took a chance on him back in October, Austin has exceeded all expectations, and his opening goal in Friday's 2-1 first-leg win over Charlton Athletic took his tally for the season to 20. And he is now looking to finish the job at The Valley tonight (Live Sky Sports 1, 8.0).

"For me personally it's great, 20 goals, and for the team in general it was a great result," Austin said. "We've put ourselves in a great position but we're not thinking too far ahead.

"We know what we've got to do but we're not going to go there with two banks of four, we're going to go there and try to win the game."

Danny Ward put Swindon 2-0 up at the County Ground but Deon Burton pulled one back for the Addicks to set up an exciting second leg.



Joy of sixes spurring Sligo

HAT-TRICK hero Padraig Amond hopes that Saturday's 6-0 win over Drogheda United will kick-start the season for Sligo Rovers.

Paul Cook's side had managed just one win in their previous nine league matches but Rovers were clinical against Drogheda, with Amond (3), Richie Ryan, Gavin Peers and John Dillon all on target.

"We have dominated games recently but we haven't got the goals. We've been playing very well for the last number of weeks but haven't got the rub of the green," said Amond after Sligo followed up a midweek 6-0 League Cup win against Letterkenny Rovers in identical fashion.

"I think that we have got rid of a bit of frustration over the past couple of games and hopefully those two results will kick-start our season and help push us up to where we should be in the league."



Advocaat named Russia boss

Ireland's major rivals in Group B of the Euro 2012 qualifiers Russia today confirmed the appointment of Dick Advocaat as the new manager of the national team.

The Dutchman was unveiled at the AGM in Rostov, and his immediate task is to lead the Russians to the finals of Euro 2012 in neighbouring Poland and Ukraine.

Russia play Andorra and Slovakia before an October date in Dublin.

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