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Juventus win Serie A: How Sarri's men claimed a ninth successive Scudetto

Sun 26 July 2020 | 21:50

A seven-goal thriller against Napoli, home and away triumphs over Inter, and Lazio's post-lockdown collapse were all key moments for Juve.

It was not always straightforward, but Juventus are Serie A champions with two games to spare.

In a run stretching back to 2011-12, Juve have now won nine consecutive Scudetti, with Sunday's 2-0 win against Sampdoria sealing glory this time.

Fittingly, a moment of magic from Cristiano Ronaldo set Juventus on their way to the title-clinching victory, his strike just before half-time settling the nerves.

Maurizio Sarri replaced Massimiliano Allegri at the helm of the Turin giants for 2019-20 and there have been teething problems.

Nevertheless, as these key games demonstrated, a willingness to fight back from behind and a lethal forward line separated them from the competition once more.

Juventus 4-3 Napoli (August 31)

The second weekend of the season saw Sarri tasked with taking down his former employers, with whom he memorably ran Juve so close in 2017-18. A debut goal from Danilo was quickly followed by Gonzalo Higuain crashing home, and Cristiano Ronaldo made it 3-0 shortly after the hour.

Game over, right? Wrong. Kostas Manolas headed in Mario Rui's 66th-minute cross, with Piotr Zielinski the provider for Hirving Lozano two minutes later. Giovanni Di Lorenzo scrambled home to seemingly complete an astonishing comeback nine minutes from the end, only for Kalidou Koulibaly to put through his own goal in stoppage time.

Inter 1-2 Juventus (October 6)

Antonio Conte started Juve's dominant streak nine years ago and he arrived at San Siro this term with similar intentions for his new club. Inter had six wins from six when they welcomed the champions to Milan.

Paulo Dybala thrashed a fourth-minute opener across Samir Handanovic and Ronaldo rattled the crossbar before Matthijs de Ligt was penalised for handball and Lautaro Martinez levelled from the spot. A high-quality contest remained all square until 10 minutes from time, when Higuain coolly converted Rodrigo Bentancur's pass for a finely constructed winner.

Atalanta 1-3 Juventus (November 23)

Robin Gosens nodded Gian Piero Gasperini's effervescent Atalanta side ahead in the 56th minute, Musa Barrow having erred from the penalty spot before half-time, and Atalanta held firm until Juventus turned the game on its head in the final quarter of an hour.

Higuain hit a brace before compatriot Dybala completed the scoring – securing a victory that would only appear more important after lockdown as Atalanta stormed up the table.

Juventus 2-0 Inter (March 8)

The new normal arrived at the Allianz Stadium for the Bianconeri's final game before the shutdown as the Derby d'Italia took place behind closed doors.

Juve had lost 1-0 to Lyon in the Champions League last 16 in the previous match – a deficit they will finally have the chance to try to overturn on August 7 – but put in a controlled performance to move nine points clear of Conte's men. Aaron Ramsey pounced for the opener and Dybala gave a timely demonstration of his class once more midway through the second half.

Atalanta 3-2 Lazio (June 24)

If beating Inter seemingly ruled the Nerazzurri out of the title race, Lazio were hot on Juve's heels. Simone Inzaghi's team beat the Old Lady 3-1 in both Serie A and the Supercoppa Italiana in December and entered lockdown a point behind them at the summit. In their first game back, a Marten de Roon own goal and an excellent Sergej Milinkovic-Savic strike had them 2-0 up inside 11 minutes.

But Atalanta were typically relentless, with Gosens heading in before the break and a Ruslan Malinovskiy piledriver levelling matters. Lazio had long been on the ropes by the time Jose Luis Palomino snatched the points in the 80th minute. The team who had looked like being Juve's main rivals would never properly recover.

Juventus 2-1 Lazio (July 20)

Lazio's implosion was not immediate, as they scraped wins over Fiorentina and Torino on the back of their collapse in Bergamo. However, they had taken one point from the past 12 on offer by the time they travelled to face Juve.

Not that Sarri's side had fared much better, with a 4-2 loss from being 2-0 up at Milan and unhelpfully action-packed draws with Atalanta and Sassuolo leaving them staggering towards the finish line.

Cue Ronaldo, who converted a 51st-minute penalty and tapped in from Dybala's pass shortly afterwards. Ciro Immobile reduced the deficit with a spot-kick of his own, but Juve were on the brink - even if there was time for one more wobble in a 2-1 loss at Udinese.

source: SportMob