Juventus win fifth consecutive Serie A title
Nearest rivals Napoli were beaten 1-0 by Roma to end slim title hopes
Juventus claimed its fifth consecutive Serie A title Monday without kicking a ball, after nearest rival Napoli was beaten 1-0 by Roma in the Italian capital.
“The Old Lady” – as the Turin club is known – took control of the title race after embarking on a remarkable 25-game unbeaten run, winning 24 of them and accruing 73 points from a possible 75.
During that purple patch, Juve scored 56 goals, conceded just nine and kept 17 clean sheets – thanks in no small part to veteran 38-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon’s fine form.
“An unbelievable season,” defender Leonardo Bonucci told the club’s website. “Everyone said we were dead and buried and now we’ve won the Scudetto.”
Following a sluggish start to the season, Juventus were 12th in the league with just 12 points. After a 1-0 defeat against Sassuolo on October 28, it trailed then-leaders Napoli by 11 points.
But Juve gradually turned things around. Key to its title triumph was the 1-0 home win against Napoli in February thanks to a fortuitously deflected 88th-minute Simone Zaza strike, which sent the Turin club top of the table for the first time this season.
On Monday, the Juve players were pictured joyously celebrating their latest title triumph at the team’s Vinovo headquarters, just outside Turin, where they were watching Napoli’s crucial defeat with a vested interest.
“I’m so happy today,” said Paulo Dybala, who has scored 16 league goals this season. “Going down in history with this team is a priceless feeling.”
Officially it’s Juve’s 32nd Scudetto crown, although the club still maintains a total of 34 after two were stripped following a 2006 match-fixing scandal – referenced by the players celebrating with the number 34 printed on their shirts.