Juventus remain first among equals in Italy and it hasn’t been close this season.
Their latest Serie A championship is an eighth on the bounce – setting a new ‘big five’ league record in the process.
Never before has a side in one of Europe’s major top divisions has ever managed an eight-peat. Olympique Lyonnais came the closest following their seven consecutive Ligue 1 crowns in the between 2001 and 2008.
Regardless of whether or not the competition at home was fierce, this is a success worth celebrating well long into the night.
However, it is worth asking whether this was a vintage year for the Old Lady, or not. So we’ve decided to take a look.
Here are the good and bad stats from yet another championship-winning season for Juventus.
Good: A blistering start
Juventus, being great champions, know the importance of starting well – and this season was no exception. Their opening 12 fixtures – including meetings against Lazio (home), Napoli (home) and AC Milan (home) – yielded 34 points which is a Serie A record in its current format.
Massimiliano Allegri’s men would go 27 matches before tasting a first league defeat this season, coming on matchday 28 away to Genoa (2-0). By then all the hard work had been done.
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Bad: A poor Coppa season
Supremacy in the league shouldn’t be enough for a team of Juve’s size. Aside from winning the last eight Serie A titles; heading into this season they’ve bagged four Coppa Italia trophies in a row. It will not be five, however, after their quarter-final elimination at the hands of Atalanta – their worst finish since the 2013/14 season when they were also dumped out at the same phase.
— Atalanta B.C. (@Atalanta_BC) January 30, 2019
As for Champions League, the one prize they yearn most, it was another final-eight departure. Unlike last season when they were dumped out by Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired reigning champions Real Madrid, this time around with the Portuguese superstar Juve were humbled by an energetic and exuberant Ajax team.
Good: Promoting youth
Juve and giving youth a chance hasn’t always gone hand in hand. As with many Italian sides experience goes a long way, but there’s been a recent shift in approach.
No fewer than six players used by Allegri this season in the league are 21 or under. The most prominent is 19-year-old Moise Kean, long touted for a big future, and this season has been his coming of age.
Only two teenagers have scored 5+ Serie A goals in a single season for Juventus this century:
⚪️⚫️ Paul Pogba
⚪️⚫️ Moise Kean
Not bad company to be in. 😏 pic.twitter.com/Hj86GPpYkb
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 6, 2019
Having played more than 300 minutes in the league he’s bagged six goals which subsequently makes him one of two teenagers to have netted 5+ Serie A goals in a single campaign for the Bianconeri this century – the other being Paul Pogba.
Kean, incidentally, wasn’t guaranteed a place midway through the season but was determined to remain and fight for his place. Yet to be a regular first-team starter, that could soon change.
Bad: Defensive cracks
It becomes cliché, but defending is taken very seriously by Italian sides. There’s a sense of pride that comes with a good defensive job done well, maybe the remaining remnants of the catenaccio approach which dominated all those years ago. Juve, who have enjoyed some of the all-time great defenders, aren’t what you’d call a side that gives presents to their opponents.
Allegri’s pragmatism also plays a role, but for a period earlier this year it was nowhere to be found. After being dumped out of the Coppa Italia by Atlanta (3-0) they contested an incredible 3-3 draw with Parma at home in the league. What this meant was, for the first time under him Juve had conceded six goals in the space of two matches.
Good: Equalling Inter
It goes without saying Juve are the most celebrated and reviled club in the Italian peninsula. By securing their record-breaking eight consecutive championship they’ve done so with five games to spare. A shock 2-1 defeat at SPAL last weekend denied them from becoming the first Serie A club to clinch the title with six matches remaining.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfc) April 20, 2019
So, as dominant as this success is, they’ll have to share the record with city rivals Torino (1947/48) and Fiorentina (1955/56). With that being said, if we start from three points for a win (1994/95 onwards), they equal Inter Milan’s record (2006/07) for the quickest a team has clinched the Serie A title.
Bad: Genoa away
It’s rare that a team can have a perfect season. Not long ago Juve, under then manager Antonio Conte, went an entire league campaign unbeaten during 2011/12. But these moments are few and far between. There will be some blips along the way. One particular game which stood out from a Juve perspective was their 2-0 defeat at Genoa – Stefano Sturaro and the evergreen Goran Pandev with the goals – handing them their first league defeat in 2018/19.
Genoa 2-0 Juventus FT:
Passing accuracy: 77%-82%
Chances created: 15-4
Ronaldo-less Juventus fall to their first defeat in Serie A this season. pic.twitter.com/Kg2L3l14fw
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 17, 2019
Aside from the bad result there were some historical ramifications. It was the first time since May 2017 – when they lost 1-3 to Roma – that Juve had lost a Serie A game by a 2+ goals margin. Also, given their sheer attacking power, it was the first time they failed to have a single shot on target in a Serie A game since May last season.
Good: Cristiano I
We can be here all day listing every record Cristiano Ronaldo holds. His latest sees him become the first player to lift the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A titles – widely considered as Europe’s three most prestigious top-flight championships.
Only two men have won the top-flight title in England, Italy and Spain.
José Mourinho (manager) and Cristiano Ronaldo (footballer) pic.twitter.com/6fwugSB3Wh
— Mohamed Moallim (@iammoallim) April 20, 2019
Before today many have come close, but Ronaldo will be the first to claim this accolade. However, he’s the not the first man to do so. That honour belongs to his former Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho who achieved that landmark when he guided Los Blancos to La Liga success in 2012 after titles with Chelsea and Inter Milan.