Alessandro Del Piero, almost
certainly playing his last home game for Juventus at the age of
37, celebrated with a goal as the Serie A champions beat
Atalanta 3-1 on Sunday to finish their campaign unbeaten.
Udinese clinched a place in the play-off round of next
season's Champions League qualifying tournament by winning 2-0
at Catania to finish third, leaving Lazio, Napoli and Inter
Milan to contemplate the Europa League.
Antonio Di Natale, included in Italy's provisional squad for
Euro 2012, opened the scoring for Udinese with his 23rd league
goal of the season.
The 38-year-old Filippo Inzaghi, playing his last league
game for runners-up AC Milan after 11 seasons, scored the winner
in a 2-1 victory over relegated Novara.
Juventus became only the second team to win Serie A without
losing a game after Fabio Capello's AC Milan in 1991/92 and the
first to achieve the feat in a 38-match season.
Del Piero curled the ball in from the edge of the penalty
area in the 28th minute after Luca Marrone had fired the opener
for Juve who clinched the title last week.
An own goal by Stephan Lichtsteiner put a slight dampener on
Juve's celebrations in the 83rd minute before defender Andrea
Barzagli converted a stoppage-time penalty.
Barzagli had come on just one minute earlier following an
injury to Giorgio Chiellini and became the 20th Juventus player
to score a league goal this season.
"We've had a fantastic championship season, crowning it with
the Scudetto and a record which will go down in history," said
Juventus coach Antonio Conte. "Others can only try and equal our
Club president Andrea Agnelli said last year that Del
Piero's contract would not be renewed when it expires at the end
of the season and seems unlikely to backtrack.
Del Piero, used sparingly by coach Antonio Conte, could
still feature in one more match for Juventus when they play
Napoli in the Italian Cup final on May 20.
"We all felt emotional. Alex is a great champion and will be
forever remembered as an indelible part of Juve's history,"
added Conte. "I'm moved for him and honouring everything with
the Scudetto is extraordinary."
Milan, where midfielder Gennaro Gattuso and defender
Alessandro Nesta were also playing their last home games after
announcing they would leave the club, fell behind to a Santiago
Garcia goal in the 20th minute.
Midfielder Mathieu Flamini equalised in the 56th minute
before Inzaghi, who came on midway through the second half,
grabbed the winner in the 82nd minute, firing in a half-volley
from Clarence Seedorf's pass.
Tough-tackling Gattuso left the San Siro pitch in tears as
he ended 13 seasons at the club.
Juventus finished with 84 points, four ahead of Milan, with
the two teams taking Italy's places in the group stage of the
Champions League next season.
Udinese, who had needed a draw to clinch third place, left
nothing to chance with a win in Sicily.
Antonio Di Natale and Diego Fabbrini scored in each half for
Udinese, who lost to Arsenal over two legs in last season's
Champions League play-off round, while Alejandro Gomez missed a
penalty for Catania before half-time.
Italy has lost a place in the competition after Serie A
slipped below Germany's Bundesliga in UEFA's ranking of national
Lazio took fourth place despite going behind to Inter when
Diego Milito scored from a penalty, the Argentine's 24th Serie A
goal of the season, on the stroke of half-time.
Libor Kozak headed Lazio level in the 58th minute and Senad
Lulic tricked his way past Maicon on the left and pulled the
ball back for Antonio Candreva to score from the edge of the
Stefano Mauri added the third in stoppage time to hand Inter
their second defeat in nine matches under Andrea
Stramaccioni, their third coach of the season after Gian Piero
Gasperini and Claudio Ranieri.
Andrea Dossena scored both goals as Napoli finished fifth
with a 2-1 win over Siena while Inter scraped into the Europa
League qualifying competition in sixth.
Luis Enrique, who announced on Friday that he would be
quitting AS Roma at the end of the season, bowed out with a 3-2
win at relegated Cesena.
Daniele De Rossi scored the goal that turned out to be the
winner early in the second half.
Parma beat Bologna 1-0 for a club record seventh successive
win to finish with 56 points.
Lecce joined already relegated Novara and Cesena in Serie B
next season after losing 1-0 at Chievo.
Stoke City and manager Tony Pulis part company by mutual agreement after seven years
Andy Carroll pulls out of England's friendly internationals against Ireland and Brazil
Manchester City and the New York Yankees have formed a new Major League Soccer team
Real Madrid president under scrutiny after latest coaching project ends in disarray
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010