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szdaily -> Sports -> 
Juve extends streak to 7 Serie A titles
    2018-05-15  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

JUVENTUS has extended its record streak to seven Serie A titles after its 0-0 draw against 10-man Roma on Sunday was enough to secure the trophy with a match to spare.

There was even more reason for the team to celebrate as coach Massimiliano Allegri, who has now won four successive league and cup doubles at Juventus, suggested he’d remain in charge next season despite reported interest from Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain.

“If they don’t fire me, I see myself as staying at Juventus next year too,” he said.

Second-place Napoli won 2-0 at Sampdoria but Juventus got the point it needed to win its 34th Serie A title. It has a four-point lead over Napoli with one round left.

The result also completed another double for Juventus, which had beaten AC Milan 4-0 in the Italian Cup in the same stadium Wednesday.

“We have to congratulate Napoli, which kept pace with a great Juventus. It’s hard to see these four years being repeated,” Allegri said. “I congratulate everyone who works for Juventus and the fans but the most credit goes to the players. With a team like this, with these men and these players, it’s easier to achieve your targets.”

The end of the season has seen several twists.

Juventus was six points clear a month ago but had its advantage slashed to a point in the space of a week. That left many pundits — including Allegri — naming Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli as favorite for the title.

“The greatest merit of the Juventus team was that they were always able to keep their calm because in football things can change in a second,” Allegri added. “You need to take it one step at a time without getting overwhelmed by enthusiasm when things are going well and you need to never stop working in the difficult moments. You need to work well on a mental level because if you have too many surges and dips of mood, you’re not going to win.”

Roma — which had already qualified for the Champions League — had the better of the game’s few chances but its prospects of winning the match diminished when midfielder Radja Nainggolan was sent off 22 minutes from time after picking up two yellow cards in five minutes.

Despite the numerical advantage Juventus still barely threatened. Paulo Dybala had put the ball in the back of the net at the start of the second half but the Argentina forward was narrowly offside.

It mattered little as Juventus clinched the title with only a match against already-relegated Hellas Verona to play.

No club in Europe’s top five leagues has won as many league titles, although Real Madrid is only one behind.

“Behind their successes there is a mentality, which has been built over the years,” Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco said.

“It is also a solid and united club, even in difficult times. This anger and this desire to win has to be an example to all the teams.”

A number of players could leave Juventus at the end of the season, notably club captain Gianluigi Buffon, although the veteran goalkeeper has yet to confirm his retirement.

(SD-Agencies)

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