The 2020/21 Serie A season is definitely one for the books given everything that has happened over this past year.
After dominating Italy for nine straight years, Juventus’ La Decima dream was crushed by Inter Milan simply because they were the best club all season.
To make things worse, I Bianconeri almost missed out on a Champions League spot but Hellas Verona did them a huge favour and they’ll be joining next year’s showcase alongside Inter Milan, AC Milan, and Atalanta.
Today, let’s take a look at the biggest winners and losers of the 2020/21 season.
Winner: Inter Milan
After coming up short in recent seasons, I Nerazzurri are finally back on top of the Serie A food chain, winning their first Scudetto in over a decade.
Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan were the most consistent side all season as they played an exciting brand of football that created so many Serie A 2021 highlights.
The duo of Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez were at the forefront of Inter’s attack, scoring 46 goals and 18 assists this term, and they got ample support from the likes of Achraf Hakimi, Alexis Sanchez, and Ivan Perisic.
While their attack has been receiving plaudits, let’s not forget their work on the defencive end too since they’ve only conceded 35 goals all season – good for first in the league.
However, looking forward, there’s a bigger challenge ahead for Inter Milan as they are facing well-documented financial issues that might derail their repeat bid next term.
Similar to Inter Milan, Juventus are left with a lot to think of this summer as their biggest concern is on how they’ll deal with their roster moving forward.
My SBOTOP colleague listed four Juventus players in his most disappointing list this season, and changes have to be made if they plan on bouncing back.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been I Bianconeri’s consistent bright spot with 29 goals this term. However, he clearly isn’t the player that he was in years past and his exorbitant wage restricts the club in trying to add more quality players.
Andrea Pirlo’s first season at the helm has been lacklustre and Juventus are rumoured to be looking at candidates to potentially replace him.
Winner: AC Milan
Although they weren’t able to sustain their hot start, AC Milan should be given props for a tremendous 2020/21 season.
The Rossoneri defied the Serie A 2021 odds by finishing second behind derby rivals Inter Milan. But more importantly, they are back in the Champions League for the first time since 2014.
Stefano Pioli did a superb job at the helm for the Rossoneri, but there will be little time to celebrate since they’ll be busy in trying to negotiate new contracts for their key players.
Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic already left the team as a free agent, while first choice goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu are set for extension talks in the next few weeks.
Loser: Napoli and Lazio
Napoli would’ve been in the Champions League if only they didn’t choke in their final match. The Partenopei dropped to fifth in the table as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Hellas Verona yesterday.
That result prompted owner Aurelio De Laurentiis to confirm Gennaro Gattuso’s sacking. And according to reports, Porto manager Sergio Conceicao is set to replace the Italian manager.
Meanwhile, Lazio’s sixth-place finish is quite disappointing considering they were in the top four last term. After a promising start to the season, the Biancocelesti’s results dried up and they were eventually out of the race for an European position.
Ciro Immobile netted 25 goals for Lazio this season. However, Joaquin Correa was his only teammate that has reached double-digit goals this term.
With Simone Inzaghi’s future with Lazio in doubt, several reports indicated that Gennaro Gattuso might be in line to replace him at the helm.
Atalanta have confirmed their Champions League qualification for the third year in a row, which is quite an achievement for the Bergamo-based club.
Despite losing captain Papu Gomez to Sevilla last January, Atalanta continued their solid campaign as they were led by Duvan Zapata, Luis Muriel, and Ruslan Malinovskyi.
Gian Piero Gasperini has successfully transformed a mid-sized club to title contenders in just a span of five years. And as long as they keep their core intact, there’s no doubt that they’ll win a trophy or two in the next few seasons.
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