July 27 – Juventus have confirmed they are Europe’s most dominant team at home with a ninth consecutive Serie A crown after goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Federico Bernardeschi against Sampdoria clinched the league title.
After Serie A’s return from lockdown, Juventus’ form had been inconsistent with just one victory in their last five games, but a 2-0 win over the Genoa club ensured what had long been inevitable, another domestic crown for the serial champions. With two rounds of matches remaining, Juventus have an unassailable 7-point lead over Inter Milan, who long challenged the Turin-club before sliding.
With the league crown, Sarri, 61, became the oldest coach to win a Scudetto. He surpassed the Swede Nils Liedholm, who won the title aged 60 years and 219 days. At the start of the season, the 61-year-old was signed to reshape the team with a more expansive playing style, but the makeover hasn’t materialised as Juventus shipped 38 goals, an unprecedented number since the days of Milan in 1962.
For much of the season, Juventus have come in for criticism and the accusation that their playing style is still not attractive enough. Ronaldo scored 31 goals, making him just the third Juve star to reach that mark in a single top-flight campaign, but his team have been too inconsistent to enchant fans.
Sarri’s Juventus are a long way of the flamboyant Napoli team the former banker coached in Serie A. His eleven miss the fluency and flair of Atalanta Bergamo as well.
In Europe, Atalanta have already qualified for the last eight of the Champions League after eliminating Valencia 8-4 on aggregate. Juventus need to reverse a 1-0 first-leg defeat against Lyon to progress to the quarter-finals and maintain a chance of lifting the European Cup.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1596499537labto1596499537ofdlr1596499537owedi1596499537sni@o1596499537fni1596499537