Turin (dpa) – After a redeeming goal from Cristiano Ronaldo, record champion Juventus has secured the Italian championship for the ninth time in a row.
The team around the five-time world footballer made the 36th Scudetto in club history perfect with a 2-0 (1-0) on Sunday-evening in the home game against Sampdoria Genoa. Ronaldo scored 1-0 before half-time.
With 83 points, Turin, which started without the recently injured former international Sami Khedira, can no longer be replaced two games before the end of the Serie A season. The Inter Milan table is seven points behind.
Juventus was harmless in the first half despite optical superiority, after which Ronaldo took the last action after a free kick variant. A 35-minute pass from Miralem Pjanic used the 35-year-old from the penalty area with a low shot (45. + 7). Against the more attacking guests, Ronaldo was also involved in the 2-0, after his shot Federico Bernardeschi (67th) was dusted. This ensured the lackluster but decisive success. The foul penalty on the crossbar missed in the 89th minute is likely to be corrected only by Ronaldo himself with a view to scoring the scorer.
“It is difficult to stay mentally and physically at ball level for 90 minutes. The matches are strange and the momentum changes very easily,” said coach Maurizio Sarri after the 1-2 at Udinese Calcio on Thursday. The mental exhaustion of his players is especially great, Juve’s coach said. Due to the defeat, the Turin team had not yet managed to make the championship perfect.
Ultimately, the calming lead at the top of the table was mainly due to the weakness of the competition. Because in the eleven games before the game on Sunday, the Sarri team had only five wins.
The question is whether Ronaldo will still be the top scorer. Because while the Portuguese superstar has scored 31 goals so far, the former Dortmund Ciro Immobile has already scored 34 goals after his triple pack in the 5-1 (1-1) of the fourth-placed Lazio Rom at Hellas Verona – as much as Robert Lewandowski to win the title contributed by FC Bayern. Current Juve professional Gonzalo Higuaín has the record in Italy. The Argentinian scored 36 goals for SSC Napoli in the 2015/2016 season.
In August, the next title opportunity awaits the “old lady” of Italian football. Juventus is in the eighth finals of the Champions League, but has to make up for a 0-1 defeat in the first leg on August 7 against Olympique Lyon to reach the final tournament in Lisbon. Real Madrid or Manchester City would wait as opponents in the next knockout round.