Juventus clinch 1st Serie A title of Ronaldo era
Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after the club clinched their eighth straight Serie A championship by defeating Fiorentina in Turin, Italy, on Saturday, April 20. EFE/EPA/ALESSANDRO DI MARCO
Fiorentina's Nikola Milenkovic (No. 4) scores a goal against Juventus during a Serie A match in Turin, Italy, on Saturday, April 20. EFE/EPA/ALESSANDRO DI MARCO
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri (R) is showered with champagne by Miralem Pjanic after the club clinched their 8th straight Serie A title with a 2-1 victory over Fiorentina in Turin, Italy, on Saturday, April 20. EFE/EPA/ALESSANDRO DI MARCO
Turin, Italy, Apr 20 (efe-epa).- Juventus beat Fiorentina 2-1 here Saturday to clinch an eighth straight Serie A title, their 35th overall and the first since five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo joined the club.
After the heartbreak of Tuesday's Champions League loss against Ajax, the Bianconeri supporters at Turin's Juventus Stadium had something to celebrate.
The victory brings Juve to 87 points from 33 matches, while second-place Napoli, with 67, have a maximum of 18 points available in their six remaining games.
Juventus become the first club to win the title eight consecutive times in one of Europe elite leagues: the English Premier League, Spain's LaLiga, Ligue 1 in France, Serie A and Germany's Bundesliga.
Saturday's contest did not begin well for the hosts as Nikola Milenkovic put Fiorentina ahead 1-0 in the 6th minute, taking advantage of a poor clearance by goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.
The goal was greeted with stunned silence from Juve fans still grieving their team's elimination from the Champions League.
The visitors were hungry for more and nearly went up 2-0 on a Federico Chiesa strike that hit the post, but the next goal would belong to Juventus.
Alex Sandro got his head to a corner to level the match at 1-1 in the 37th minute, though Chiesa threatened again just before the break with a shot off the cross-bar.
The eventual winning goal materialized eight minutes into the second half, when Ronaldo raced to the byline and unleashed a cross that Fiorentina defender German Pezzella inadvertently turned into an own goal.
Once the final whistle sounded, a banner reading "The eighth wonder" was unfurled and the celebrations began in earnest.
"I'm really happy to have won the Italian title in my first season here. It has been a great season for this Juventus, we also won the Italian Supercup," Ronaldo told reporters after the game.
The Portugal international has scored 19 goals in Serie A this season with five matches left to play.
"We didn't do so well in the Champions League but there is always next year," Ronaldo acknowledged.
"I will stay, 1,000 percent," he said, seeking to quash speculation that he might seek to get out of his three-year contract with the Italian club.