At the end of each Serie A league season, the team that finishes first is awarded the Scudetto, a crest of the Italian national flag which is then worn on the matchday shirt the following season to indicate the club's status of reigning Italian Champions. The victorious side also receives the league trophy and direct access to the Champions League
Juventus followed the victorious end to the previous season with back to back wins in their first three games, but began to fall behind the steadily advancing Milan sides after successive draws at home against Parma and Como.
After the international break, it was Inter against Juve, a perfect opportunity for the Nerazzurri to dispose of a title rival in the early stages of the season. But the Bianconeri had other ideas: they secured an important draw, having only lost their 1-0 lead to a goal frantically bundled in late on during a goalmouth scramble which saw the Nerazzuri goalkeeper Toldo join the attack.
Juve’s comeback in the league began with a 1-0 win against Bologna, became more secure when a superb Bianconeri played a devastating first half against Milan to produce a 2-1 win, and was confirmed when they swept Torino aside 4-0 in the derby.
Yet Lippi’s men still found themselves behind Inter and Milan, and losses against Brescia and Lazio meant that they had work to do.
Their subsequent victory over Piacenza was dedicated by the squad and supporters to the memory of Gianni Agnelli, who had passed away a few days before.
That same Sunday, Milan lost in Perugia, while on the next matchday Inter lost against Chievo. This piece of luck for Juve proved a springboard to a string of successes, and a 2-2 draw against Perugia on 10 May was all that was needed to secure the Scudetto title two games before the end.
It was a meaningful victory overall given the sad death of Gianni Agnelli, and credit should to go to Pavel Nedved, whose exceptional performances in often difficult circumstances were pivotal.