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Juventus coach Marcello Lippi was magnanimous in defeat and despite watching his team be outplayed by leaders Milan.

Speaking after Juve’s 1-3 home defeat to Milan, a result which leaves the reigning champions nine points adrift of the runaway leaders, Lippi refused to criticise his players.

“I cannot criticise my players as they gave everything they could, but Milan were excellent in every area of the pitch and played with a great calmness that comes with a long line of positive results,” he said.

Despite the result, Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti refused to rule Juventus out of the title race.

“I’d say they are far from dead and buried,” he said.

“Juventus never know when they are beaten.”

Of his own team and their improvement on last season, Ancelotti believes his defence should take the credit.

“Compared to last season, we’re defending much better and we’re quicker at breaking forward in attack,” he said.

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