Juventus seal record-breaking eighth-straight Serie A title

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Juventus clinched a record eighth straight Serie A title.

Juventus clinched their eighth consecutive Serie A title on Saturday with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Fiorentina.

Alex Sandro’s diving header on 37 minutes and an own goal from Fiorentina defender German Pezzella after a Cristiano Ronaldo cross in the 53rd minute sealed a 35th Scudetto.

Serbian defender Nikola Milenkovic had put Fiorentina ahead after less than six minutes.

Bolstered by five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo, Juventus dominated the domestic league this season and are 20 points clear of nearest rivals Napoli with just five games to play.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side have lost only two matches, against Genoa and SPAL, with 28 wins and three draws.

Their eight straight title sees Juventus overtake French club Lyon for the record of consecutive victories in the top five European leagues.

Juventus also equalled the record for the earliest the Italian title has been won, with five games to spare, achieved by Torino in 1948, Fiorentina in 1956 and Inter Milan in 2007.

Allegri’s side had needed just one more point to seal victory after their shock Champions League exit at the Juventus Stadium to Ajax last Tuesday.

Juventus have been hit hard by injuries with defender Giorgio Chiellini out along with Sami Khedira, Mario Mandzukic, Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa.

Ronaldo threatened early, but defender Milenkovic gave Fiorentina hope of a first win in eight trips to the Allianz Stadium.

Giovanni Simeone had the ball in the back of the net on 25 minutes but the goal was ruled offside, before Sandro got his head to Miralem Pjanic’s corner to pull the teams level before the break.

Ronaldo threatened after the break, crossing for Federico Bernardeschi, but Pezzella clumsily turned into his own net.

Allegri brought on teenage star Moise Kean in place of Bernardeschi on 74 minutes, but the 19-year-old could not add to his six goals scored in his previous six appearances.

Ronaldo will have to settle for a Serie A title in his first season in Italy after missing out on a sixth Champions League crown.

It was the 34-year-old’s sixth domestic league title, having won three with Manchester United and two with Real Madrid.

The Portuguese now has 28 trophies in total, including the Euro 2016 title with Portugal.

Juventus also remain on track to match the record 102 points achieved under Antonio Conte in 2014.

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Massimiliano Allegri insists Cristiano Ronaldo is 'the future' of Juventus

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Massimiliano Allegri has insisted that Cristiano Ronaldo is “the future” of Juventus as they look to soothe their Champions League disappointment by lifting an eighth successive Serie A title.

Juve welcome Fiorentina to the Allianz Stadium on Saturday knowing victory will clinch another Scudetto four days after their hopes of European glory went up in smoke as Ajax claimed a famous quarter-final win in Turin.

Ronaldo scored home and away against the Dutch side, who went through on the away goals rule, but while acknowledging that the 34-year-old’s brilliance alone was not enough, manager Allegri predicted he will lead the fight once again next season.

He told a press conference: “Cristiano is the future of Juventus. He did very well this year and will do so the next. Of course he is disappointed, like all of us are, but he’s calm about it.

“Cristiano plus Juventus doesn’t equal a guaranteed Champions League – this is how football is. Now we have to move on and think about winning the Scudetto, which will be the result of a great season.”

Massimiliano Allegri of Juventus looks on

Juve, who are 17 points clear of second-placed Napoli with six games remaining, passed up the opportunity to win the title last weekend when they were beaten 2-1 at Spal, and Allegri wants to leave no margin for error this time around.

He said: “This year has been a great job, winning both the Super Cup and the Scudetto. The eighth consecutive Scudetto is a source of pride for all. Once it’s sealed, we all have to enjoy it, it wouldn’t make sense not to celebrate it.”

Allegri, however, will be without a host of players with Sami Khedira and Mattia Perin out for the remainder of the season and Mario Mandzukic likely to join them, and Paulo Dybala, Douglas Costa and Martin Caceres also missing this weekend.

If Fiorentina are to delay the leaders’ march to glory, they will have to reverse a recent trend which has seen them win only once in 11 Serie A outings and not at all in their last nine games in all competitions, although they have drawn six of those.

Manager Vincenzo Montella, who guided them to a 4-2 Serie A win over Juventus in October 2013 during his first spell in charge, told Dazn: “The 4-2 win against Juve is probably the most thrilling game of my managerial career. We did something incredible. I knew we could do something great.”

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Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri admits Frenkie De Jong was too difficult to handle

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Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri praised Ajax and Frenkie De Jong after seeing his side battle to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final in Amsterdam.

Cristiano Ronaldo returned from injury and headed Juve into the lead just before half-time but Ajax fully deserved the equaliser scored by David Neres straight from the restart and pushed hard for a winner.

Barcelona-bound De Jong ran the game from the middle of the park and Allegri admitted he was not able to shackle him.

“De Jong is the real source of their game,” Allegri said on uefa.com. “We tried to control him with (Rodrigo) Bentancur in the early stages but, when he understood that, he moved deeper, and the forwards had to work hard on him. He played very well.

“Ajax have great qualities. They keep the ball well even when there are no spaces. I think we defended well even if we had to be better when we won the ball in midfield.

De Jong

“We suffered after their goal because we were a bit shocked to concede immediately after the break but we defended well and finished the game better.”

Allegri also praised Ronaldo, who had missed the previous four games with a thigh problem picked up on international duty.

“Once again Ronaldo proved to be on a different level,” said Allegri. “His movements and his sense of timing are simply different from the others.”

Ajax boss Erik Ten Hag was hoping for more but will take confidence from the last round, when his side lost the home leg to Real Madrid only to stun the holders 4-1 at the Bernabeu.

He said: “One-one is not the result you hope for, but it is a result. Last time we lost 2-1 to Madrid at home, so we are still in it. We had some very good opportunities.”

Ten Hag added of Ronaldo’s goal: “In midfield, we were wrong for a moment. Then you see that they can move the game at lightning speed. You can’t afford that.”

Provided by Press Association Sport

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