A triumphant march to the title, consisting of 38 games without defeat. An unforgettable Scudetto victory that nobody would have imagined at the dawn of a new era.
Antonio Conte, already a fans’ favourite after captaining a highly successful Bianconeri side in the ‘90s, returned in May 2011 to oversee a revolution at his beloved Juventus. Big name additions to the playing staff subsequently followed, such as Lichtsteiner, Vucinic, Vidal and, above all, Andrea Pirlo. Yet the promising acquisitions failed to place Juventus among the pre-season title contenders. The general consensus was that the club was in a phase of reconstruction following two consecutive seventh-place finishes, and that defending champions Milan were the ones to beat.
But the winds of change appeared to sweep across Turin quicker than expected. First of all, the Bianconeri had their brand new home, Juventus Stadium, in which the fans’ proximity to the pitch saw them become the twelfth man to spur Conte’s men onto victory.
And then there was the style of play itself. The new management succeeded in instilling added aggression and quality, initially arranged in a 4-2-4 formation, which soon became a 4-3-3, before eventually evolving into a 3-5-2. Regardless of the personnel deployed, Juve shot out of the traps at an electrifying pace, immediately establishing themselves as Milan’s most plausible rivals after a commanding 2-0 win over the Rossoneri at Juventus Stadium. Further impressive results soon followed, such as the away wins over Inter and Lazio and memorable comebacks against Napoli and Roma. The Bianconeri ended the first half of the campaign as Winter Champions. They had the opportunity to extend their lead even further, but several postponed fixtures and a series of draws allowed Milan to move back into top spot.
Juve’s title aspirations appeared to have faded when they lined up against Fiorentina at the Artemio Franchi, seven points adrift of the Rossoneri. Yet Conte’s men possessed a fighting spirit that mirrored the determination of their inspirational leader, stringing together eight consecutive victories and reclaiming pole position after Milan’s slip ups against Catania and Fiorentina. A home draw against Lecce set nerves jangling, but any fears were soon allayed by a solid 2-0 away win over Cagliari. Milan’s defeat to rivals Inter gave Juventus an unassailable four-point lead at the top, leaving Alessandro Del Piero with the honour of signing off in front of his own public by lifting Scudetto number 30 the following week at Juventus Stadium.