Outside90’s Joshua Scarcella breaks down the major talking points to emerge from Serie A matchday 36.
The records continue to tumble for Juventus
Last week’s blockbuster clash between Napoli and Roma ended in a stalemate, which officially handed the Bianconeri the Scudetto for the fifth consecutive season, and boy did they celebrate in style. Paul Pogba got a little overexcited and and slipped over in violent fashion, luckily finishing up unharmed.
He showed no signs of injury during the match against Carpi, where the home fans celebrated another title chanting “Siamo noi, siamo noi, i campioni d’Italia siamo noi!” The Frenchman got 126 touches of the ball during the match, the highest of any game in his Serie A career. Meanwhile, the 2-0 win ensured Juventus became the only team in Europe not to concede a goal at home during 2016, with a total of three conceded away from home over the same period.
Birthday boy Leonardo Bonucci decided to join the record party with one of his own. Since joining Juventus from Bari in 2010-11, the centre-back has recorded the most wins out of any current Serie A player, standing at 131.
Antonio Candreva loves a match against Inter Milan
The Biancocelesti‘s topsy-turvy season continued when Inter Milan visited the Stadio Olimpico, where it was Miroslav Klose who continued to wind back the clock and produce one of his best to get the home side in front.
Just as Roberto Mancini threw caution to the wind and had Inter Milan search for the equaliser, Jeison Murillo would unbelievably foul Keita in the area, earning him a second yellow card in the space of three minutes. The 11 red cards Inter Milan have received this season have come at a rate of one every 43 fouls, the worst ratio in Serie A. Candreva would step up to put the game beyond doubt and increase his tally of goals against the Nerazzuri to five, four of these in the last three occasions the clubs have faced off.
Frosinone all but destined for Serie B
The season for i Canarini has played out just as many would have expected at the beginning of the season, and with only two games remaining against Sassuolo and Napoli, needing all six points, it is almost certain the team will compete for the Serie B title once again in 2016-17.
Highlights for the season will include their eight wins in the top flight and playing in some of the most iconic stadiums in Italy, but perhaps the biggest achievement was their 1-1 early season draw against Juventus at the fortress of the Juventus Stadium.
The story could have been so different at the end of matchday 35 if Frosinone held their 3-1 lead at the San Siro, then only requiring one win from their remaining two games for a chance to stay in the top division once again.
Chievo continue to count their luck in 2015-16
I Gialloblu will be looking forward to the end of the season, which promised so much in the beginning yet will end on a rather dissatisfactory note, a mid-table finish.
Their campaign can be summed up mainly by the word ‘lucky’, this is due to two reasons. One being 15 out of their 36 matches ending in 0-0 draws, and the other being that Chievo have watched their opponents hit the woodwork on 18 occasions in the same period of time.
Matches against Roma and Bologna to end the season will keep Chievo on their toes while they look to finish the season on a positive note.
Inter Milan heading to Europa League as Milan’s chances fade away
Inter Milan’s failure at the Stadio Olimpico meant that their chances of a rebirth in the Champions League are all but over. However, a place in the continent’s second tier competition is now locked in for the Nerazzuri, as Roberto Mancini looks to rebuild the club that won the treble just six years ago.
Meanwhile, on the other side of Milan, a string of extremely disappointing performances coupled with the departure of Sinisa Mihajlovic leaves the club with only one chance to gain access to the same competition. That will come in the Coppa Italia final against Juventus in two weeks time, the team that has not lost a match in their last 25 Serie A appearances.
Napoli’s impressive despite occupying second
Three demoralising loses in their past six matches has i Partenopei rooted to second position on the table and without a chance to take first. However with Roma hot on their tail, the last two matches of the season become extremely important in retaining their automatic Champions League qualification place.
Despite sitting in second position, Napoli have broken some records of their own this season. They are the first Italian club to score 100 goals in all competitions, Gonzalo Higuain with 34 of these and counting. He has also converted on more occasions than the entire Verona team with two matches remaining.
Their match against Atalanta also became the 15th time the club has not conceded a shot on target in the first half of the match, a record among the top five leagues in Europe.
Club favourite Kevin Strootman returns
The Dutchman’s past three seasons have been plagued by long-term injuries, but after making his welcomed return to the team in February, the fans have been eager for his starting XI debut for the season.
This was to come against Genoa where a trademark solid performance helped Roma to a thrilling win in which club legend Francesco Totti made the headlines once again.