Inter Milan win their first Serie A title since 2010
The city of Milan erupted in a cacophony of celebrations on Sunday as Inter Milan won their first Serie A title in more than a decade.
Car horns began to sound immediately after Atalanta’s 1-1 draw, second to Sassuolo. This confirmed Inter as champions – with an insurmountable 13-point lead with four games to go – and fans descended on the main square opposite the city’s famous cathedral.
Thousands of Nerazzurri fans gathered in Piazza Duomo, with flags and scarves, singing and chanting as they jumped and cheered regardless of coronavirus restrictions. Almost all wore masks, but many were lowered below the chin.
They also set off flares and fireworks.
It was Inter’s first trophy since 2011 and the first Serie A title since 2010, when they won the treble in the league, Champions League and Italian Cup.
“We are, yes we are. Champions of Italy. We can finally shout it out, after having dreamed of it, after having hidden it in the depths of our hearts, after having retained it as a precious dream that we did not want to spoil ”, we read in a long press release on the Inter website.
Inter have ended Juventus’ grip on the league crown. Inter coach Antonio Conte led Juventus to the first three of their nine successive Serie A titles, but ended that streak in his second season at the helm of the Nerazzurri.
“It is definitely one of the most important achievements of my career,” said Conte, who also won the English Premier League with Chelsea in 2017. “It was not an easy decision to come to Inter , just when the team was not equipped to win anything.
“In addition, the opponent was Juventus, for which I worked for so long and which they had dominated for nine years. I accepted the challenge with great will … today we can say that our sacrifices have been repaid.
Juventus were one of the first teams to congratulate their fierce rivals on social media, while Bianconeri president Andrea Agnelli also posted a congratulatory message to his Inter counterpart Steven Zhang.
“Well done Steven! Happy for you and proud to be your staunch opponent on the pitch and friend off the pitch, ”Agnelli wrote on Twitter.
“We will return…”
Inter became the first foreign team to win Serie A. Funding from Chinese group Suning helped Inter recover from a takeover in 2016, but the title victory comes during a difficult time for the retail giant, which has been hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Suning was seeking investors rather than trying to offload the Serie A club, and Italian media report that he is in advanced talks with Bain Capital over a loan deal worth € 270m (325 millions of dollars).
After Inter won 2-0 at Crotone on Saturday, Atalanta were the only side that could possibly catch up with Conte’s side and had to win to do so.
But his chances diminished considerably when a moment of madness from goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini saw him go out of his zone and knock down Sassuolo midfielder Jérémie Boga, earning himself a red card in the 23rd minute and leaving his side. with 10 men for most of the match. match.
Robin Gosens scored for Atalanta nine minutes later, but Domenico Berardi equalized from the penalty spot early in the second half after Rafael Tolói came on trial for pushing Hamed Junior Traorè.
Sassuolo also gave a penalty and sent off a late man when defender Marlon received a second yellow card for fouling Luis Muriel. But former Atalanta goalkeeper Andrea Consigli saved Muriel’s kick.
Both teams also had goals ruled out for offside.
Champions League race
Two late goals from Cristiano Ronaldo saw Juventus fight to win 2-1 at Udinese and increase their chances of qualifying for the Champions League.
Following Inter’s title win, it looked like Juve’s downfall would be further accentuated as Udinese led for most of the game after Nahuel Molina’s goal in the 10th minute.
But Ronaldo equalized on the spot seven minutes after Rodrigo De Paul was penalized for handball, and the Juventus forward took the lead six minutes later.
Juventus are tied on points with Atalanta and AC Milan. Napoli, fifth, are two points further after being held to a 1-1 draw by Cagliari following an equalizer in the Sardinian side’s saves.
The Serie A top four advance to the Champions League and Lazio are just five points off pace and with a game in hand after beating Genoa 4-3.
Bologna striker Rodrigo Palacio has become the oldest player to score a Serie A hat trick, aged 39, 86 days, to help his side draw 3-3 against Fiorentina. Edin Džeko had a penalty saved and two goals ruled out for offside as Roma lost 2-0 to Sampdoria.