Highlights of Juventus’ 2019-20 Serie A season: Ronaldo, Dybala script title win
Coach Maurizio Sarri called it their ‘most difficult championship in the history of Italian football’, but Juventus were finally able to celebrate winning their ninth successive Serie A title on Sunday.
A comfortable 2-0 win over Sampdoria on Sunday night meant that the club from Turin once again successfully defended its crown despite a stiff challenge from Inter Milan and Atalanta.
It was a season that had everything - high-scoring encounters, tactical masterstrokes from coaches, heartbreaks from injuries and late drama.
In spite of the hurdles, the team that boasts of prolific players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and the young talent in Matthijs de Ligt eventually prevailed to claim the top prize in Italy for the ninth time in-a-row.
We take a look at some of the best performances from Juventus this season.
Juventus’ best matches in La Liga 2019-20 season
Double in Derby d'Italia: Inter Milan 1-2 Juventus
In what’s considered to be one of the biggest fixtures in Italian football, Juventus ensured that they turned up in a dominant manner to beat Inter Milan in the Derby d’Italia to snatch away not just the bragging rights but also the top spot in the Serie A table.
First up in October, the Milan side seemed to be on a roll having won each of their six fixtures heading into the first Derby d’Italia of the season.
But up against a determined Juventus, the Antonio Conte-coached side was found wanting as they succumbed to a 2-1 defeat on the night.
While Paulo Dybala fired Maurizio Sarri's Juve in front after four minutes, Inter came back into the contest with Lautaro Martinez scoring from the spot after Matthijs de Ligt was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area.
But with just under 10 minutes to go, Argentine Gonzalo Higuain’s lethal finish saw Juventus go past their challengers to the top of the table.
The reverse fixture, however, had no such drama as two quality goals from Aaron Ramsey and Paulo Dybala settled the issue in Juventus’ favour.
A win in Rome: Roma 1-2 Juventus
The Juventus manager calls this opponent a ‘dangerous one’ and barely leaves any opportunity to lavish praises on his counterpart Paulo Fonseca. And for good reason too.
In their recent trips to Roma, the Bianconeri had not scored at the Stadio Olimpico. But this season, Maurizio Sarri’s men ensured that they were up for a fight in the capital.
Two goals in the opening 10 minutes were all that it took for Juventus to register a much-deserved victory in their second match post the Christmas break.
While defender Merih Demiral deflected in to open the scoring in the third minute after a Paulo Dybala free-kick landed in the box, Cristiano Ronaldo made it 2-0 from the spot at the 10th-minute mark following a foul on Paulo Dybala inside the penalty box.
A fortress so strong: Juventus 2-2 Atalanta
One of the key features in a championship-winning team is often an enviable record at home. Be it Liverpool in the Premier League or Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in La Liga and Bundesliga, respectively.
And the story has been no different in Italy.
The Allianz Stadium in Turin has been nothing short of a fortress for Juventus this season. Of the 18 matches that the team has played at home so far, they have won 16 and drawn the other two. But one match that has stood out is the one against title challengers, Atalanta.
The Bergamo-based team has enjoyed a fine season this time and headed to Turin on the back of a 10-match winning streak that stretched back to January.
Determined to keep the run intact, Atalanta started well and were soon ahead through a Duvan Zapata goal.
While they dominated the opening hour, a penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo in the 55th minute saw Juventus draw parity.
Barely affected by the goal, Atalanta continued their surge and were rewarded late with Ruslan Malinovskyi scoring from a Luis Muriel cross.
But just when it looked Juventus would endure their first defeat of the season at home, another penalty conversion from their Portuguese star helped them share the spoils.
Juventus’ best players from La Liga 2019/20
Ever since his move to Turin in 2018, the Portuguese superstar has been the focal point of Juventus’ attack. And he hasn’t disappointed.
With 31 goals from 32 appearances so far, he might be behind Lazio’s Ciro Immobile in the race for the golden boot, but that hasn’t taken the sheen away from his influence on the way Juventus plays.
Following a summer where he was close to making a move to the Premier League, Paulo Dybala was once again seen wearing the black and white of Juventus this season.
With manager Maurizio Sarri using the Argentine as an attacking midfielder for the majority of the season, Paulo Dybala went on to form a lethal partnership with their linchpin Cristiano Ronaldo.
In the 33 appearances that the 26-year-old has made this season, he has scored 11 goals and provided seven assists.
His ball control and the ability to create space has made him a vital cog in the Juventus machinery.
Matthijs de Ligt
It’s often difficult for a defender to make a place for himself in a team that boasts of top-quality players like Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci. But the 20-year-old Matthijs de Ligt has done just that.
Signed from Ajax this season, though the Dutch defender took a while to settle into his new side, he has grown in confidence as the season progressed.
The Dutchman has made a total of 29 appearances for Juventus so far and has been more than handy in helping them shore up the defence against quality oppositions.
His presence in the opposition box too has been noteworthy, with the Dutchman scoring four goals so far.
His command in the air and the ability to read the game makes him one of the exciting young prospects in the side. And with Chiellini and Bonucci for company, Matthijs de Ligt can definitely benefit from their experiences.