Serie A: Inter Milan secure their first league title in 11 years

After second-placed Atalanta failed to win their match, Inter were guaranteed the league trophy to end Juventus' nine-year reign as Italian champions

Inter Milan players in a file photo; Credit: Inter Milan Twitter

Inter Milan have clinched their maiden Serie A title in 11 years to put an halt to Juventus’ nine-year reign as Italian champions. Antonio Conte’s side were on the brink of the title after registering a 2-0 win against Crotone on Saturday. That meant Atalanta needed to win their match on Sunday to prevent Inter from winning the trophy, but they could only manage a 1-1 draw at Sassuolo. The draw ensured Inter an unassailable 13-point lead at the top with four matches to spare.

It is interesting to note that Juventus’ nine-year winning cycle was kick-started by Conte himself in 2012. It was then prolonged by Massimiliano Allegri and Maurizio Sarri last term. This time around, Inter are worthy of the title, playing consistently in attack and defence throughout the season. They have lost only twice this campaign – in the Milan derby in October and at Sampdoria in January.

It was on February 14, Inter snatched the top spot from AC Milan and they never looked like letting it go. While other clubs struggled to maintain their consistency, Conte’s boys had little to no challenge in their quest to win the league. Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired Juventus were expected to provide a tough fight at the top, but they fell too far down this campaign and are currently languishing in fifth.

Stefano Pioli’s AC Milan along with an in-form Zlatan Ibrahimovic did well to stay in and around the top positions for quite long. Notably, they were top of the table at Christmas. But the Rossoneri failed to build on their momentum from the first half of the season and are now placed third in the table.

A look back

It is no secret that Conte’s teams are known for their defensive stability and Inter’s success was also built on a solid defence. The 3-5-2 formation helped them keep the backline intact to concede just 29 goals in 34 league games.

The attacking game has been equally good under Conte. Inter are one of the best counter-attacking teams in Italy, scoring 74 times in the 34 games till now.

Romelu Lukaku has led the attack brilliantly. He has scored 21 league goals till now and formed a deadly partnership with Lautaro Martinez upfront.

Conte will hope this is just the start of bigger things, while the other heavyweights of Serie A will have to raise their level to compete for the league title in the future.




WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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