So that’s Serie A 2020/21 done and dusted folks; and what a final day to see off another year of Italian drama, delight and heartbreak.
The league table makes happy reading for champions Inter Milan who finished on an impressive 91 points, while Milan took second place and Atalanta and Juventus completed the top four. The Serie A 2021 results on the last weekend of another incredible season threw up a triumph for I Bianconeri who won, to sneak into the Champions League places and disaster for Napoli who narrowly missed out.
With Benevento, Crotone and Parma already relegated before a ball was kicked there were no nerves outside the leading group. But there was drama too in the chase for a Europa League place as Sassuolo looked likely to grab seventh place with a victory over sixth-placed Lazio, but Roma came from two behind to earn a point against Spezia, and that was enough to edge Sassuolo out.
Franck Kessie has nerves of steel
Milan had the toughest assignment of all the sides chasing a top four place, with a trip away to Atlanta, but when Joakim Maehle upended Theo Hernandez in the penalty area I Rossoneri had a penalty just before the break. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic sidelined the responsibility fell to Kessie and he fired his shot low into the bottom left corner…cool as you like. Then, as the seconds ticked away at the end of the game, Milan had a second penalty deep into stoppage time and Kessie planted it home to take second place for AC Milan.
Napoli climbed into the top four, on the hour, when Amir Rrahrami slotted home the opener against Hellas Verona, but they dropped back out again nine minutes later when Marco Faraoni levelled for the gentlemen of Verona…
Pirlo’s reputation is unshaken
…and that opened the door for Juventus. The Old Lady has had no favours in the run-in, with a draw away to Fiorentina and a home defeat to Milan making their task doubly difficult, but a 3-2 victory over Inter Milan last week kept their Champions League hopes alive. On Sunday night the Bianconeri have won a fourth game on the bounce, three in the league to add to a Coppa Italia triumph. And they did it in fantastic style, blowing Bologna away in a first-half blitz as Federico Chiesa, Alvaro Morata and Adrien Rabiot gave Andrea Pirlo’s side a three-goal lead.
Morata made it four early in the second half and Riccardo Orsilini scored a consolation for Bologna.
Pirlo is a Juventus legend and, despite a difficult campaign at the helm he’s won admirers outside Turin and picked up the Coppa as his first piece of silverware, and this was a fine end to the season.
Inter on a different level
With Serie A 2021 betting odds consistently backing Antonio Conte’s champions, from March onwards, the momentum grew and grew, and the manner of the Nerazzurri’s final day 5-1 victory over Udinese summed up a totally dominant campaign. With five different scorers, Conte’s side put on an exhibition. Ashley Young opened the scoring on eight minutes and then the back in favour Christian Eriksen doubled the lead before the break. Lautaro Martinez added a third from the penalty spot early in the second half, Ivan Perisic made it four and Romelu Lukaku added a fifth with his 24th of the season.
Even a late penalty from Roberto Pereyra couldn’t take the gloss of a near flawless Inter display at the end of a brilliant campaign.
So it’s congratulations to Inter Milan, champions of Italy.
There will be plenty of action in the transfer market over the next couple of months as the challengers prepare to mount their assault on I Nerazzurri’s Scudetto in August. But there’s much more football to enjoy before the 2021/22 campaign starts, with the Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea next week. Here at SBOTOP we’ll be previewing the big match and preparing the best set of Asian Handicap Betting choices on the market.
And then it’s Euro 2020, when the finest players in Europe, including the stars of Serie A, are set to put on a festival of football. The Azzurri are back on the world stage and will be one of the fancied teams.
VISIT OUR BLOG TO GET YOUR FIX FOR ALL OF THE MOST CURRENT FOOTBALL NEWS STORIES & FEATURES