Arrivederci to the Scudetto dream
“The positive from today’s defeat is that you all will stop saying ‘Juventus can win the Scudetto’,” said Allegri post-match. The Bianconeri’s 16-game unbeaten run in Serie A had the media building up the idea of a late Scudetto charge from the recent subjugators of calcio, but defeat to Inter has all but ended their faint hopes.
Ultimately, Juve’s historically poor start to the campaign left them with far too much to do. They needed a near-perfect epilogue to even have a chance of catching Milan and Napoli. Inter’s brave victory, meanwhile, has thrust them right back into contention.
For Juve, they’ll end the season with a pitiful winless record against the top-four, but Sunday’s performance will give them huge confidence heading into the final few games of the domestic campaign. This was as proactive and aggressive as Juventus have played all year, and they dominated Inter on xG (where it truly matters). The visitors, discounting Hakan Calhanoglu’s penalty, could only muster 0.29 expected goals compared to Juve’s 1.9 – the highest xG haul they’ve produced against Serie A’s top-five all season.
It was the sort of display that’ll give them firm belief when they match up against one of the Milan clubs in the Coppa Italia final, providing that they hold off Fiorentina later this month.
And while Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma have emerged as a rising threat in Serie A for a top-four spot, the Giallorossi’s tough schedule down the stretch combined with Juve’s current five-point advantage means they’ve surely left themselves with too much to do.
A serene end to the Serie A season is bound to ensue for Juventus following Sunday’s loss. No title, but a comfortable top-four finish – he types with his toes crossed.