Juventus Lift The Scudetto For The 29th Time, Milan Open Up A 4-Point Lead Over Fiorentina – Serie A Wrap


May 5th, 2002, or 5 Maggio as it’s known by Juventini worldwide, still remains one of the most entertaining days in Italian football. Hector Cuper’s Inter started the day in pole position and were searching for their first title in 13 years. They were a point clear of Juventus and two ahead of Roma. The Nerazzurri faced Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico, the Giallorossi battled Torino, and the Bianconeri took on Udinese.

David Trezeguet and Alessandro Del Piero gave Juventus a 2-0 triumph, meaning they were temporarily top of the table. Antonio Cassano scored the only goal in Roma’s 1-0 win against Torino, meaning they were a point above Inter in second. However Lazio, who’s fans were cheering on the Milanese side due to the different scenarios involving two rivals, ended up downing the would-be champions 4-2. Juventus clinched their 27th Scudetto in the most emotional and sensational circumstances that the football world had ever seen at the time.

That triumph was the last time Juventus won the league before their win in 2011/12 as two of their Scudetti from 2004/05 and 2005/06 were stripped due to Calciopoli punishments. Eleven years later, on May 5th 2013, Juve met Palermo to try and earn their 29th title. The race wasn’t as dramatic like it was in 2002, but being crowned champions for a second consecutive year would put the exclamation mark on yet another season of dominance for the Bianconeri.

All The Old Lady needed was a draw in order to mathematically claim the title. Arturo Vidal would give the home crowd the best result possible in confirming their status as Italy’s best; with a win. Following a push from behind on Mirko Vucinic from Massimo Donati in the Rosanero penalty area, Vidal stepped up to the spot, like he usually does, and buried it past Stefano Sorrentino to give Juve a 1-0 lead on 59 minutes. A Paul Pogba red card was the only damper on an otherwise cheerful afternoon in Turin. After he tussled with Salvatore Aronica for the ball, the centre back inadvertently smacked Pogba in the face. Not taking the action too kindly, Pogba chased down Aronica and, from what was shown on the replays, spat in the defender’s face. Referee Andrea Romeo had no choice but to show the young Frenchman the red.

Pogba appeared to be upset at the time and will be suspended for at least the next game, but his mind will be focused on what every Juventus player is fixated on; winning the Scudetto. With a successful Champions League return and back-to-back titles, no one can underestimate The Old Lady. She’s still alive and kicking.

Balotelli celebrating with Milan players
Balotelli’s late strike helps Milan to open up a 4-point lead over Fiorentina

Other talking points

  • Palermo, unfortunately for them, are back in the relegation zone with that defeat. They’re 18th on 32 points, three behind Genoa. It’s just the Rosanero’s second defeat since Giuseppe Sannino returned for his second stint at the club as manager.
  • Genoa, of course, won their match, and boy did they dominate. The Grifone had their way with Pescara, earning a 4-1 victory, giving themselves a three point gap over the relegation zone with three matches left.
  • The other side battling to stay up, Siena, weren’t so lucky. They were shutout 3-0 by Catania in Sicily. They’re now five points below 17th place.
  • May 4th, 2002 was the eve of one of the most famous days in calcio, but produced nothing dramatic. That wasn’t the case on May 4th, 2013 as Roma stole a win from Fiorentina at the Artemio Franchi thanks to a Pablo Osvaldo strike in second half stoppage time. The Giallorossi move within three points of the Viola, still holding onto fifth place.
  • AC Milan took advantage of Fiorentina’s mishap by edging past Torino 1-0 at the San Siro. They’re now four points above Fiorentina for the third and final Champions League berth.
  • The team directly above Milan, Napoli, won yet again, this time against lowly Inter 3-1 at the San Paolo. Edinson Cavani had a hat trick, scoring his 100th goal for the Partenopei on his second strike of the match.
  • Miroslav Klose put the Lazio critics to rest for at least a week. He had a five goal game against Bologna in the Biancocelesti’s 6-0 demolition of the Rossoblu.

Other results: Chievo 0-0 Cagliari; Udinese 3-1 Sampdoria; Parma 2-0 Atalanta

Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

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