uventus had finished a close second behind Inter the season before, and went into the new campaign strengthened in midfield by the arrival of Liam Brady. Nonetheless, Paolo Roberto Falcao’s Roma started as big favourites for the title, with Inter predicted as their closest rivals.
Giovanni Trapattoni’s men did not make an exceptional start, being held to draws early on by Cagliari, Brescia and Ascoli, and losing to Torino in the first derby. After nine games they were behind Roma, Inter, Cagliari, Catanzaro, Fiorentina, Torino and Napoli.
However, the Bianconeri got into their stride by securing a win against Inter on matchday eight. From then on the catch-up began in earnest..
As the season neared its end, the championship remained up in the air: Juventus, Napoli and Roma all had 35 points. The penultimate game saw Juve face Napoli, a crucial fixture because a Neapolitan victory would see Roma overtaking the Bianconeri. But a dominant Juve deservedly won at San Paolo and maintained their one point advantage over the Giallorossi with only one more game to go.
On 24 May at the Stadio Comunale, Juventus overcame Fiorentina with a goal from Antonio Cabrini and Roma were kept at bay by a draw with Avellino. Juve had timed their winning run to perfection, and Zoff had been ever present as the icon of an indestructible squad.
The fact that Juventus managed to overtake their rivals so dramatically after a relatively poor start, especially given that they had not been predicted to come out on top initially, made their 1981 win a triumph that has lingered long in the minds of Juventus fans.