Tue, May 15, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Juventus seal seventh straight ‘scudetto’

AFP, ROME

Paulo Dybala of Juventus, second right, jumps over AS Roma goalkeeper Alisson in their Serie A match at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Sunday.

Photo: Reuters

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri on Sunday hailed his side’s winning mentality as they sealed a seventh straight Serie A title after a goalless draw against 10-man AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico in the Italian capital.

The Turin giants had needed just a point to officially seal their 34th scudetto and become the first team to complete the league and cup double for four consecutive seasons.

Roma played the final 20 minutes a man down after Radja Nainggolan was sent off for a second yellow card after a foul on Argentina striker Paulo Dybala.

Allegri’s side also won the Coppa Italia at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday last week with a 4-0 win over AC Milan.

With one match left to play Juve cannot be caught by second-placed SSC Napoli, who are four points behind after winning 2-0 at UC Sampdoria.

“It’s not easy to keep the right mentality just a few days after winning the Coppa Italia final,” Allegri said. “I think the greatest strength was keeping calm in all situations. You reach the final objective with one small step at a time. It’s been really tough and we have to compliment Napoli, as they kept the pressure on to the end and won at Sampdoria. We work hard, but when it’s time to celebrate after four extraordinary years, it’s right that everyone celebrates. If you get overwhelmed by enthusiasm, you’re going to collapse three days later.”

Eusebio di Francesco’s Roma, in third, had already sealed their UEFA Champions League place for next season after Inter’s 2-1 loss against US Sassuolo.

“Juventus have a special mentality that has been built up through the years,” Di Francesco said. “It’s a club that succeeds in remaining united through difficulties. They are an example for other teams to follow.”

Juventus had early chances with Edin Dzeko firing over, a Lorenzo Pellegrini shot flying wide and Aleksandar Kolarov’s free-kick hitting the side-netting.

Dybala threatened early and broke through early in the second half after an Alex Sandro cross, but the goal was disallowed because the Argentina striker was offside.

Nainggolan received two yellow cards in the space of five minutes and from the 68th minute Roma were down to 10 men, but Juventus did not take advantage as their game lost its momentum, although Dybala did have penalty appeals.

Juventus play their final game in Turin at the weekend and Allegri promised a big celebration.

“There are players here who won all seven titles and deserve Saturday’s salute in front of their home fans. We want to celebrate all together in Turin,” Allegri said.

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