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Juventus down Fiorentina to clinch Serie A title

Juventus down Fiorentina to clinch Serie A title
Juventus players celebrate after clinching the eighth Serie A title in a row.
TURIN, Apr 21 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 4/21/2019 12:18:58 PM IST

Juventus overcame their European blues when they fought back to beat Fiorentina 2-1 at home on Saturday and claim the Serie A title for a remarkable eighth season in a row.

Juventus fell behind to a Nikola Milenkovic goal in the sixth minute and survived two Federico Chiesa shots against the woodwork before halftime.

But an Alex Sandro header and a German Pezzella own goal either side of the break wrapped up a record-extending 35th scudetto crown.

Juve’s 28th win in 33 league games this season left them with 87 points, 20 more than second-placed Napoli who have six games to play. They are the first team to win any of Europe’s top five leagues, England, Spain, France, Italy and Germany, eight times in a row.

“To win the championship with five matches to spare is testimony to the great season we have had,” said coach Massimiliano Allegri.

Juventus have won Europe’s premier club competition twice, compared to seven times for AC Milan and Inter Milan’s three.

Fiorentina were without a win in their previous eight Serie A games but Milenkovic put them ahead, firing into the roof of the net from close range after goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny diverted Chiesa’s cross into his path.

Chiesa curled a shot against the post as Juventus continued to struggle before Sandro came to the rescue as he got away from the Fiorentina defence to score with a low near-post header from a corner in the 37th minute.

Juventus had another escape before halftime as Chiesa rattled the underside of the crossbar with a rasping drive. But a moment of brilliance from Ronaldo ended Juve’s suffering as the Portuguese forward produced a devastating burst of speed to reach the byline and his low cross was turned into his own goal by Fiorentina defender Pezzella.

Juve’s total of 35 Serie A titles is nearly double the number won by nearest rivals AC Milan and Inter Milan who have 18 apiece.

Juventus claim to have lifted the trophy 37 times, refusing to recognise the decision to strip them of the 2004-05 and 2005-06 titles following the so-called Calciopoli match-fixing scandal. That also saw them relegated and they bounced back at the first attempt.

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