Scenes of jubilation in Turin as Juventus crown a superb season by lifting their 31st Scudetto trophy following this evening’s 1-1 home draw with Cagliari
Bianconeri supporters were treated to a night to remember as the team capped off another magnificent campaign by lifting their second consecutive Scudetto trophy in front of an adoring public at Juventus Stadium.
The scenes of jubilation began after this evening’s 1-1 draw with Cagliari, in which Mirko Vucinic came off the bench to grab his tenth Serie A goal of the season and secure Juventus a share of the spoils.
Trailing to Victor Ibarbo’s early first-half opener, Antonio Conte’s men improved considerably after the break but only had Vucinic’s equaliser to show for their attempts to round off this season’s home campaign on a winning note.
The hosts, featuring five changes from the starting line-up that ground out Wednesday’s 1-0 victory over Atalanta in Bergamo, made most of the early running in a confident start to affairs at Juventus Stadium.
One of the returning contingent, Arturo Vidal, brought the game to life on 10 minutes with a curling left-footed 25-yard strike that was plucked out of the top corner by Michael Agazzi at full stretch.
But Cagliari – who had guaranteed a safe mid-table finish courtesy of a productive run since the turn of the New Year - proved they weren’t just in Turin to make up the numbers when Victor Ibarbo wriggled between the challenges of Andrea Barzagli and Claudio Marchisio before squeezing a shot past Marco Storari with 12 minutes on the clock.
Juventus grew in stature as the half wore on and fashioned a number of chances to level matters ahead of the interval.
With 32 minutes played, Emanuele Giaccherini teed up Claudio Marchisio on the edge of the area, but Agazzi remained equal to the latter’s low drive with a straightforward stop.
Moments later, Sebastian Giovinco was left with his head in his hands after seeing his superbly struck 25-yard free-kick bounce agonisingly back off the woodwork.
And ex-Cagliari frontman Alessandro Matri, who struck a quick-fire double in this season’s reverse fixture, again sought to haunt his former employers, only to clear the crossbar with a speculative effort from range.
The hosts came out all guns blazing at the start of the second half and could have restored parity when Giaccherini weaved in and out of his marker before drawing a low save from Agazzi at his near post.
Eight minutes later, Juventus were level. Vidal headed Marchisio’s cross back across the face of goal, leaving substitute Vucinic with the straightforward task of prodding the ball across the line for his tenth Serie A strike of the campaign.
With the fans in full voice and celebratory Scudetto flags waving high into the night’s sky, the hosts continued to push down on the accelerator and Marchisio, a lively presence throughout, went close to diverting Mauricio Isla’s teasing delivery past the despairing dive of Agazzi on 68 minutes.
The Chilean full-back, making his second consecutive appearance in the starting line-up, was next to try his luck on 78 minutes, unleashing a thunderous effort which fizzed narrowly over the woodwork.
The closing stages of the encounter saw Juventus throw bodies forward in an attempt to force a winner, only for Cagliari to defend resolutely and hold on for a point.
The 1-1 draw brings an end to the Bianconeri’s nine-game winning streak and subsequently the team’s chances of surpassing Fabio Capello’s points record.
But today’s result came secondary to the sight everyone came to witness – captain Gigi Buffon lifting the Scudetto trophy to spark scenes of unconfined joy at Juventus Stadium.
JUVENTUS 1-1 CAGLIARI
GOALS: Ibarbo 12, Vucinic 61
Storari; Barzagli (Caceres 14), Bonucci, Chiellini; Isla, Vidal, Marrone, Marchisio, Giaccherini; Giovinco (Vucinic 51), Matri (Quagliarella 71)
Substitutes not used: Buffon, Rubinho, Peluso, Padoin, Lichtsteiner, De Ceglie, Anelka.
Agazzi; Perico (Cossu 53), Rossettini, Astori (Eriksson 65), Murru (Del Fabro 53); Dessena, Conti, Ekdal; Nainggolan; Ibarbo, Pinilla
Substitutes not used: Avramov, Nenè, Sau, Thiago Ribeiro.
ASSISTANTS: Viazzi, Rubino
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Altomare
BOOKINGS: Murru 33, Chiellini 90+1