Chronicle of a Scudetto Foretold: Relive the road to Scudetto No. 31

Claudio Villa

With Scudetto No. 31 secured, let's take a look at the highlights of the season.

Aug. 11, 2012 - Juventus' season officially begins on this date in China. The Bianconeri conceded their first goal against Edinson Cavani. More importantly, the first goal of the season came from a beautiful volley from new signing Kwadwo Asamoah. From then on the Ghanian established himself as a pillar of the team for months to come. Juventus won the game 4-2 sending a strong signal to the rest of Serie A: "We are not done winning." This was also the first official match that Massimo Carrera was in charge of the team. One game, one tittle. Not bad, Mr. Carrera.

Aug. 25, 2012 - Sept. 22, 2012 - Four games, four wins, twelve points. All of this under the tutelage of Carrera. You want more numbers? Eleven goals scored, two goals allowed. All goals were scored by eight different team members. Only Giovinco, Quagliarella and Vucinic scored more than once. At this point, Napoli was the anti-Juve, however, by match three, Napoli were already two points behind Juventus. The Bianconeri were just getting started.

Sept. 25, 2012 - Juventus plays one of their worst games of the season away to Fiorentina. The Old Lady is lucky to take one point away from the Artemio Franchi.

Sept. 29, 2012 - Oct. 31, 2012 - Juventus responds to the poor display in Florence by winning five games in a row. On Oct. 20th, Angelo Alessio takes over from Massimo Carrera. Thanks Mr. Carrera, you did a superb job. Alessio brings a less energetic attitude towards the bench worrying many tifosi as the team's performances are not as good as they can be.

Nov. 3, 2012 - Juventus' first defeat since Antonio Conte took over came at the hands of Inter on this date. Inter now were the anii-Juve. Joke is on them.

Nov. 10 - Dec. 1, 2012 - After the defeat to Inter, Juventus has one of the worst months of the season. One loss, one win and one tie, meant that Juventus scored only four points in the month of November. Prior to November, the Bianconeri had an average of 2.8 points/match, November was 1 point/match. Before blaming this on Angelo Alessio, we should remember that during this time, Juve beat Nordsjaelland and Chelsea 4-0 and 3-0 respectively. I would say that the drop of form in Serie A was more of a result of a change in focus.

Dec. 9 - Dec. 21, 2012 - Antonio Conte returns to the Juve bench. In true Conte fashion, il Mister gets nine points out of a possible nine. This opens a massive 11-point lead with respect to Napoli (two of these points will be later awarded back to Napoli during appeals on the betting scandal).

Oh, and did I mention Juve were through to the round of 16 in the Champions League?

Jan. 6 - Feb. 24, 2013 - January 2013 was reminiscent of Delneri's January. A loss, two ties, and one win, saw Juve's lead go down to single digits. Concerns were raised as the loss came to 10-man Sampdoria and the ties against Parma and Genoa. To top things off, Juve were eliminated by Lazio from the Coppa Italia.

February was a little better. Three wins against Chievo, Fiorentina and Siena coupled to the loss to Roma saw Juventus fend off Napoli's charge for first place. Through this time, Juve struggled to fight on both fronts as the loss to Roma came after playing Celtic for the Champions League.

March 1 - April 28, 2013 - Juventus kick it into over drive: eight matches, seven wins, one draw. The draw comes at the beginning of March against Napoli. After that, Juventus record 21 points out of a possible 21. Lazio, Inter, Milan and Torino are counted among the victims of the Bianconeri steamroller. By the end of April, Juve have an 11-point lead and are one draw away from scudetto number 31.

May 5 - May 19, 2013 - Juventus win their 31st scudetto on a poetic note, or should I say a poetic date. May 5th 2013. 'nuff said.

One week later, Captain Gigi Buffon lifts up the cup at the Juventus Arena. This is the first time in a long time that a player other than Alessandro Del Piero is not the first Juventus player to lift a trophy. If Alex can't be there, Buffon is a worthy heir to that honor.

The Bianconeri finish the season with a win over Atalanta, tying to Cagliari, and a loss to Sampdoria (the only team that Juve could not defeat in the whole season). Conte could have reached Capello's record had he played the starting 11 through these matches. Instead, he chose to give a chance to those who hadn't played much during the season.

The best news of the last week? Conte is staying with the club for next season. This is not good news only because it is Conte, but because is demonstrates continuity. Conte becomes the fifth coach since the 1950's to stay with the Old Lady for more than 2 years, joining Marcelo Lippi and Giovanni Trapattoni among others. I am a firm believer that a club needs continuity to build a winning project, and if we are building around Antonio Conte, the club can't possibly go wrong.

To finish up, I would like to call this a roller coaster of a season, but it wasn't. Not even Conte's suspension managed to distract the players, staff, and management from the initial goal — Victory. Juventus started as favourites and lived up to the expectations from day one. After all, 5 losses, 6 draws, 27 wins, amounting to 87 points are a clear indication of Juve's power throughout the season. So, if you want to experience what is like to get excited about climbing the Serie A standings, or to beat a giant to the scudetto, I encourage to support any of the other 19 teams in Serie A, because Juve will continue to dominate Italy for years to come.

What was your favourite part of the season? Let's us know below.

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