Straight from the dark heart of Italy
The flags and the banners can finally be dusted off and hung from apartment windows and balconies.
Come next Sunday, Inter should be celebrating their 17th Serie A title – and the party could even start on Saturday evening if AC Milan lose at Udinese.
The San Siro will be a lot more raucous than it was on Sunday evening, when the Rossoneri and Juventus slugged it out in the manner of unconvincing title contenders, with a lot of huffing and puffing but little to suggest either side will proclaimed champions at any time soon.
NEWS: Draw leaves Inter on brink
What is puzzling is why Milan felt that watering – well, flooding - the pitch just before kick-off would benefit the home side.
The robust Juventus defenders took to the slippery conditions like the proverbial ducks to water, with Giorgio Chiellini in particular throwing himself along the greasy top surface with real gusto.
"Aiiee! Oooyaa! Whoopsie!"
Needless to say, ball players like Ricky Kaka and Clarence Seedorf found such sodden conditions somewhat less to their liking – and the less said about 'Sideshow Bob' Ronaldinho the better.
You know excitement is in short measure when the two standout performers are midfield battlers Massimo Ambrosini and Cristiano Zanetti – but having said that, it was the two coaches who sent their respective teams out with the overriding remit not to lose.
Carlo Ancelotti and Claudio Ranieri both have the demeanour of men whose cases are packed – the former skipping off to double his salary at Chelsea, the latter pushed out with his pride battered and bruised once again.
The 1-1 draw just about closes the debate over the runners-up spot, although Juve will need more than a cursory glance over their shoulders at Fiorentina, who are only three points behind with three rounds remaining.
The only person left smiling was Jose Mourinho, who would have slipped off to sleep satisfied that if this is the best that the opposition can offer then Inter will be able to sleepwalk through next season’s campaign as well.
The Nerazzurri need the competition to ensure they are battle-hardened and ready for the rigours of another Champions League campaign.
But it’s doubtful their jubilant fans will be concerned about such matters when they turn the San Siro into party central next weekend.
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