Totti: The title is Inter's to lose

Francesco Totti scored a penalty as he played his 500th match for Roma in the 2-0 defeat of Napoli, but despite his side's impressive form he is still not talking up their title chances.

Totti is nothing short of a living legend at Roma and has set several records this season. First he notched his 200th goal in professional football, then he managed a record 388 league appearances for the club and now he has surpassed the 500 barrier in all competitions.

And for his club, things could not be going much better. Roma knocked Real Madrid out of the UEFA Champions League in the previous round and are through to the last eight.

Their league form has also been mightily impressive as they've closed to within six points of leaders Inter Milan. Goals from Simone Perrotta and Totti gave the Giallorossi a victory on Sunday on the same pitch that saw Inter lose their unbeaten league record a week earlier.

Even so, Totti is not getting carried away. "We've given a powerful statement because last week Napoli were stratospheric," said Totti.

"But we came here with a winning mentality. The championship, and I repeat, is Inter's to lose because we can't do any more than we are doing. If they make any mistakes we need to capitalise. There's still a long way to go."

Inter ended a four-match streak - including three league matches - without a victory by beating Reggina 2-0 at home on Saturday, but their goalkeeper Julio Cesar was their best player. It is no secret they are far from their best and face the possibility of dropping out of the Champions League on Tuesday when they must overturn a 2-0 deficit against last season's finalists Liverpool at the San Siro.

Totti, though, will be cheering on the Italians. "I hope Inter get through. I'll be supporting Inter because we don't want to be the only Italian team left in Europe. They've got the right team even to beat a great Liverpool side."

Further milestones the target
One thinks, though, that Totti is also hoping Inter's continued involvement abroad might distract them in the league, while Roma hope to use their European progression to inspire their league campaign. Turning his attentions to his own achievement, Totti was understandably proud.

"That number is important but I hope to play on as long as possible," he said. "It's with satisfaction that I've beaten all the records in this jersey. It's a dream that I wanted to realise, a bet I wanted to win since I was small.

"Now I don't want to wake up. Arriving at 600 games? I'll need another three years, I hope to get there, but also to reach 300 goals."

While Roma kept the pressure on Inter, another important battle took a another twist. Fourth-placed Fiorentina lost 1-0 at Siena, while late goals from Massimo Ambrosini and Kaka allowed AC Milan to win 3-1 at Empoli and close to within one point of the Viola.

The two teams are battling it out for a place in next season's Champions League, alongside third-placed Juventus, who put daylight between themselves and the others with a 2-0 win at Genoa. Juve have 51 points, with Fiorentina on 47 and Milan on 46.

Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti is now feeling a lot better about his team's chances of claiming a top four finish, particularly as his team is out of Europe while Fiorentina are still in the UEFA Cup and battling on two fronts. "It was a good day for us due to the defeat of (Cesare) Prandelli's team (Fiorentina)," he said.

"But there's still a long way to go. We have the advantage of not playing in the cup (Europe). It's different but I hope it helps us."