Juventus also re-opened old wounds by claiming to have won their 31st Serie A title when only 29 are officially recognised by the Italian league. Juve were stripped of the 2005 and 2006 titles in the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal but the club includes those in its tally. When the game ended, a giant club badge was laid in the centre circle bearing the number 31. “How many scudettos have Juventus won? It seems to me to be 31,” defender Andrea Barzagli told RAI television.
As soon as the final whistle blew, fans ran on to the field at the Juventus stadium, defying orders from stadium announcers to leave the pitch clear. Television pictures showed hardcore fans known as “Ultras” arguing among themselves while players had to battle through the crowd with the help of stewards to reach the sanctuary of the dressing room. Pictures also showed fans attempting to remove one of the goals and the nets to take home as souvenirs.
Juventus have dominated the season, winning 26 of their 35 games and losing only four. Last year, they went through the campaign unbeaten.
“It’s been a triumphant march from every point of view,” said coach Antonio Conte, who was thrown into an ice bath by his players. “It wasn’t easy to win again as last season. The Champions League took a lot out of us and so did the Italian Cup.”
In the Netherlands, Ajax were crowned Eredivisie champions for the third successive season after thrashing Willem II 5-0.
First-half goals by Kolbeinn Sigthorsson and Christian Eriksen set Ajax on their way and Viktor Fischer, Siem De Jong and Danny Hoesen wrapped up the victory – and the title – in style.