🇮🇹 The crest may change but Inter don't on weekend title was won

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Padraig Whelan

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The fat lady is signing. The Old Lady is mourning.

The Scudetto race is over.

It was certainly fun while it lasted and at a point it seemed four teams were all genuinely in the shake up to lift the trophy in May.

But even with 10 (or 11 depending on your schedule) games remaining, last weekend’s fixtures were the ones which finally wrested the championship out of Juventus’ grip.

At a point when they had no more margin for error, they simply had to do what they have done so well for two decades and deliver more derby heartbreak to city rivals Torino.

In this car crash campaign for the reigning champions, they couldn’t even do that.

Tonny Sanabria wrote his name into club folklore, becoming the first player since Marco Ferrante in 2000 to enjoy a multi-goal game against Juventus, punishing some poor defending and goalkeeping for both goals.

The Granata could even have won the game. They were the hungrier and more motivated side throughout, with Juventus relying on their individual quality to bail them out again.

There are only so many times you can go to that well before you come up dry. That aura of invincibility around the Bianconeri for the past decade is certainly shattered now.

Taking full advantage of their slip later that day, Inter relied on a lone Romelu Lukaku strike to steer them past Bologna, a result made even more important by second-placed Milan’s stumble at home to Sampdoria.

A calamitous Theo Hernández mistake looks to be the one that puts the final nail in their title coffin too – with the most important thing for an exhausted Rossoneri team now being to ensure they don’t lose their grip on a Champions League place.

That, by the way, is a fate that could befall Juventus given their form and rumours around Andrea Pirlo’s position. Given their president’s posturing for revamp to that competition’s format, the irony of failing to make it on merit wouldn’t be lost on anyone.

But while those sides struggle, the men at the top are putting all of the off-field furore surrounding their unnecessary new crest and rebranding as well as the uncertainty around a sale and deferred wages to continue charging towards the Scudetto.

They’ve now won nine games in a row for the first time since 2007 when they went on their record-breaking run of 17 in succession and are showing zero signs of finish line fever.

Inter are sprinting towards glory, ugly new logo and all.

📊 Fun facts

  • Sassuolo have now conceded in a club record 17 straight Serie A games after their 2-2 draw against a Lorenzo Pellegrini-inspired Roma
  • For the fifth time this season, Napoli scored at least four goals in a home game. Only Bayern Munich (eight) have more such matches this season in Europe’s top five leagues
  • No Serie A player has scored more than Luis Muriel’s 11 goals in this calendar year, netting twice in a 3-2 win over former club Udinese

😱 Goal of the Weekend

As a former Roma man, Daniele Verde will have enjoyed this sumptuous strike even more.

🥇 Player of the Weekend

A goal. An assist. An irresistible showing from the Napoli attacker. March’s Player of the Month is picking up where he left off.