Juventus
    Juventus
      29.06.2015 12:30 - in: The team S

      Thank you, Bianconeri!

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      Juventus.com recounts the final part of the Old Lady’s 2014/15 season by taking a look at results versus Napoli, Hellas Verona and Barcelona

      After claiming a tenth Coppa Italia with a 2-1 victory over Lazio just three days earlier, the Bianconeri welcomed Napoli to Juventus Stadium on May 23 for their final Serie A home game of the term.

      The Partenopei, who were defeated 3-1 by Massimiliano Allegri’s troops during the reverse fixture in January, arrived in Turin still in the running for a Champions League place but needed all three points to stand a chance of qualification.

      A party atmosphere was in full force as the hosts paraded their latest piece of silverware ahead of kick-off and on 13 minutes the crowd became even more rapturous when Juventus went ahead.

      Kingsley Coman, partnering Alvaro Morata in an exciting forward line, threaded a sumptuous pass through to Roberto Pereyra who fired first time past Mariano Andujar with a crisp finish.

      The start of the second period saw Napoli gain an instant chance to level proceedings when Kwadwo Asamoah, making his grand return to the side for the first time since November, was adjudged to have handled the ball. Gigi Buffon initially guessed right to thwart Lorenzo Insigne from the spot but there was little he could do as David Lopez thumped in the rebound.

      Despite Rafael Benitez’s men continuing to up the ante and looking to edge their noses in front, it was the Bianconeri who regained the lead on 77 minutes, Stefano Sturaro spectacularly curling in his first goal in the black and white jersey to bring Juventus Stadium to its feet.

      And after Napoli were reduced to ten men following Miguel Britos’ dismissal for a headbutt on Morata, substitute Simone Pepe converted from the spot to ensure the champions capped their season on home turf in style with a 3-1 triumph.

      The culmination of proceedings signalled the start of the Scudetto trophy presentation, with the players going on to celebrate alongside their families out on the pitch as the sun set on yet another campaign at the Bianconeri’s wonderful arena.

      Exactly seven days later, Allegri’s side were once again in action as they endeavoured to bring the curtain down on another successful Serie A season with a trip to Hellas Verona at the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi.

      A hard-fought but ultimately unspectacular first half came to life when Pereyra picked out the top corner with an incredible effort on 42 minutes, his second in as many league matches against the Gialloblu.

      It didn’t take long for Andrea Mandorlini’s charges to get back on level pegging as former Bianconero Luca Toni rounded off a swift counter-attack with a crisp finish on 47 minutes.

      However, the visitors were in no mood to sit back and regained their lead ten minutes later. An excellent Andrea Pirlo dink into the box picked out Simone Padoin, whose cut-back from the byline presented Fernando Llorente with the simplest of tap-ins.

      As the game edged towards its conclusion, Juventus were awarded a penalty with two minutes of normal time remaining when Rafael Marquez hauled Llorente down in the area. But just as it seemed Tevez was all set to wrap up another three points, Rafael pulled off a strong save to deny the Argentine from 12 yards.

      The stop galvanised Hellas and, after Pepe went for an early bath following a strong challenge from behind on Mattia Valoti, they secured a share of the spoils when Juanito rose highest at the far post to hold the Old Lady to a 2-2 stalemate at the Bentegodi for the second year in succession.

      Now it was time for the big one, a mouthwatering Champions League final against Barcelona at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on 6 June.

      With both sides looking to claim a respective treble, the match-up began at a fast and frenetic pace and it was the Blaugrana who took the lead on four minutes, Ivan Rakitic sweeping home Andres Iniesta’s square pass from the close range.

      But the Bianconeri refused to lie down and equalised ten minutes after the break when Morata bundled home after Tevez’s strike had been spilled into his path by ter Stegen.

      Just when the tide appeared to be turning in Juventus’ favour, Lionel Messi burst in behind the defence and unleashed a potent shot towards goal. Buffon got down well to make the save, but it fell to the onrushing Luis Suarez, who crashed the loose ball into the net to restore Barcelona’s lead.

      Neymar then had a goal ruled out for handball before the Brazilian sealed the Champions League crown seven minutes into injury time when he slotted home to finish a swift counter-attack.

      It was the last kick of the game, but it wouldn’t be the defining moment of the night, at least from a Juventus perspective. That honour goes to the fans, who were on their feet at the final whistle to applaud their heroes.

      It’s been an extraordinary season from a fantastic team, one that has claimed scalp after scalp in Italy and in Europe.

      Thank you for a phenomenal campaign, Bianconeri.

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