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Mancini praises Jovetic but blames stalemate on fatigue

Stevan Jovetic earned the praise of Inter coach Roberto Mancini, but the Italian was left with an overall sense of disappointment following Sunday's 0-0 draw with Juventus.

Inter had the opportunity to climb to the summit of Serie A after Fiorentina had gone down 2-1 at Napoli earlier in the day, but they were unable to claim all three points in the Derby d'Italia.

Marcelo Brozovic came closest to a goal for the hosts, striking the crossbar with a curling effort, but it was Juve who wasted the best chance of finding a winner when Sami Khedira sent a shot against the post from close range with 20 minutes remaining.

And while Mancini was pleased with the performance of Jovetic, the coach felt his side tired as the game wore on.

"I thought the first half was his best performance in an Inter shirt so far, but he and everyone fell away in the second half because fatigue set in," Mancini told Sky Sport Italia.

"We used the 4-2-3-1, as we did in the second half with Sampdoria [in a 1-1 draw].

"I was satisfied overall, it was a game of few chances, but I had some players back from international duty on Friday.

"We went a little too deep in the second half and struggled compared to the first.

"At the end of the day, such a tough and hard-fought match was good and I'm sure Juventus will be back challenging for the Scudetto within a couple of months.

"We are only one point off the top, so we're in a good position. This year it will be a very difficult campaign for everyone, as every single match requires a battle, even ones that might've seemed easy in other terms. It's a very balanced league."