In a season where nothing has been easy and nothing has really made sense, the game in which Juventus clinched the club’s ninth consecutive Scudetto was like so many wins we’ve seen from this team over the course of the 2019-20 campaign.
And who said this team wasn’t consistent?
(Don’t answer that.)
Juventus did what they weren’t able to do three days earlier in Udine, and that meant actually beating a team in the bottom third of the table when all they needed was a win to secure a ninth straight title. Thanks to goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Federico Bernardeschi (!!!) on either side of halftime in Juve’s 2-0 win over Sampdoria allowed the eight-time defending champions to officially become nine-time defending champions and give Maurizio Sarri his first-ever Serie A title at the age of 61 years old. It will not go down as Juventus’ most dominant title of the run that started all the way back with Antonio Conte in the 2011-12 season. Far from it, actually.
But the fact still remains: Juventus just secured Scudetto No. 38.
Yes, 38. Don’t you think it’s any different.
Think about it this way: There are kids born in the summer of 2012 who have yet to see any other club win the Scudetto. It’s been all Juventus, all the time, and that’s now something that’s spanned over the course of three managers and plenty of roster turnover. (And, for the record, let me just say once again that I adopted a tuxedo cat in the summer of 2011, I named her after Alessandro Del Piero and Juve has won the Scudetto every season since. Coincidence? I think not.)
Still, nine titles in a row.
One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine in a row.
And you better believe that even though Max Allegri isn’t around, Juan Cuadrado made sure to keep the shaving cream after a Scudetto win tradition going. I’m sure Sarri hopes this isn’t the only time that happens during the remainder of his managerial career.
Hey, there was also this: JUVENTUS KEPT A DAMN CLEAN SHEET.
This wasn’t a glamorous ending to an up and down season. As much as it’s a celebratory mood right now in the Juve locker room as I type out this sentence, it was far from a pretty game by any means. This was a slog, much like a lot of Juventus’ wins this season have been this season. And there were points where Sampdoria, despite being down a man, was the team with much more of a foot down on the gas rather than the team that was on the brink of winning another title. It was nervy, it took a big Wojciech Szczesny save (again) to keep the clean sheet. But, Juventus won the game ... and then won the title.
Regardless, like I said before Juve headed to face Udinese a few days ago: I really don’t care how they did it in the clincher, they just needed to get the job done. Clinching this Scudetto and preventing any further drama from happening was priority No. 1, and they did that.
We can debate the semantics later. But for now, let’s do what Carlo Pinsoglio was doing in the minutes before the final whistle sounded: getting the party started and enjoying another Serie A title. Sounds like a good plan to me.
RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
- Pre-game thought No. 1: Very nice to see that Maurizio Sarri finally allowed my son Rodrigo Bentancur to get some rest after previously starting every game of the restart. I say he earned it.
- Pre-game thought No. 2: Ciro Immobile finished off a hat trick right before Juventus-Sampdoria kicked off, giving him 34 goals on the season. Sounds like Cristiano has some work to do. (And then he went out and scored a goal to make it 31 on the season. If only he had made that penalty kick in the final couple of minutes and the capocannoniere race would have been a lot more interesting entering the last two games of the season.)
- You know what’s bad when one of your fullbacks has to be subbed out in the first half because he’s likely gotten a concussion? Not having another fullback on the bench to turn to. It would be nice if Juve actually get some depth at fullback before the next season starts, but that’s not exactly anything new.
- Don’t mind me. I’m just gonna be sitting in the corner sweating this upcoming Paulo Dybala medical report when it’s posted in the next day or two. As if that’s something we needed to see happen two weeks before Juventus jump back into the Champions League.
- For that matter, going to be sweating any possible Matthijs de Ligt medical report, too. It might have just been a cramp and he was subbed out as a precaution, but Juventus can’t afford to lose Big Dutch Baby for any kind of time or else it will be Rugani time.
- Further confirmation that injuries are stupid and we should ban them forever.
- Black & White & Read All Over Conspiracy Corner: Federico Bernardeschi missed that free kick a couple of minutes before Ronaldo’s goal on purpose just to set up the training ground play that Pjanic executed to perfection. Think about it.
- That feeling when you hadn’t scored a Serie A goal since September 2018:
- Seriously, though, good for Bernardeschi. He is such a likable person that you want good things to happen for him personally. And this season has certainly been one of personal struggles on the field, but this was a day where he could truly celebrate both his own and his team’s success. Who knows if he will be on the roster a few months from now, but seeing him get a goal against Serie A opposition that was nearly two years in the making was a happy moment for a truly good person.
- Feel free to jump on the Adrien Rabiot bandwagon while you still can. There’s room, but seats are filling up fast, folks. (And don’t worry, we are socially distancing and requiring masks be worn on this bandwagon, so your health is a top priority.)
- The run that Alex Sandro made to draw the penalty that Ronaldo eventually smashed off the crossbar was about as vintage of an Alex Sandro run as we’ve seen in months. That’s the proof you need that he’s still got that kind of stuff in him.
- Juventus just barely outshot Sampdoria 16-14 in the game. Juve had nearly twice as much possession.
- SERIOUSLY. JUVENTUS KEPT A CLEAN SHEET.