Juventus kicked off their title defense on thirtieth of August last year in a season that saw the likes of Palermo, Empoli and Cesena make their way into Italian top-tier. Despite falling short of entertainment and quality that Premier League offers in plethora, Serie A did not fail to live up to the expectation. THT discusses seven moments that made massive impact in Serie A.
Massimiliano Allegri made sure Juventus remained undisputed.
Resignation of Antonio Conte and appointment of sacked AC Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri was not received well amongst the Juventus supporters, but the 47-year-old made the pattern was not arrested as the men in white and black claimed their fourth consecutive title.
The Old Lady had four games to spare and needed a single point off the Sampordia fixture, but Arturo Vidal won things in style for the Turin club heading past a helpless Emiliano Viviano in the first half. Days later, Juventus completed the double with a win over Lazio in the Coppa Italia final and could seal a historic treble, should they ease past Barcelona in the Champions League final.
Rome derby decided Champions League contenders.
Winners and runners-up of the Italian league are guaranteed direct Champions League spots and it came down to the Rome derby to decide who between Lazio and Roma make it to Europe without having to play qualification rounds.
With final whistle only seconds away, Rome derby looked all set to have no winners as the score read 1-1, but Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa seemed to have other ideas. The signing from Newcastle United earned all three points for Roma, thereby cementing their spot in the Champions League next season.
Luca Toni defied biology.
Luca Toni is some name that needs no introduction for the football fanatics of yesteryears, but the 38-year-old gave the newer generations something to Google finishing the season as the top-scorer ahead of the likes of Miroslav Klose and Gonzalo Higuain.
With only ten minutes left to be played between Parma and Hellas Verona, Zouhair Feddal handled the ball inside the penalty area and the former Italy international made no mistake steering the ball home becoming the top-scorer piping Carlos Tevez and Mauro Icardi for the honour. Senescence lost its meaning.
Dissolved Parma were relegated eventually.
A sixth-place finish only the previous season, individual brilliance from Antonio Mirante and an unlikely victory over champions Juventus were, somehow, insufficient to beat the drop as Parma found their way back to second tier after six seasons in the top flight.
For various reasons, Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio deducted seven points while off-field drama also tormented their hopes of keeping the head above water. Arrest of their former president Giampietro Manenti was an insult to the injury. Their surrender to the relegation dogfight was confirmed when they were routed 4-0 by Lazio.
Lukas Podolski left Italy with a gazillion Instagram uploads and one Inter goal.
Lukas Podolski is either jovial or he tries so hard to be jovial, but he has now become a laughing stock as his increased activity on the social media is ridiculed. The German has not been so prolific on the pitch as he is on his smartphone as of late.
The Arsenal forward managed to have clicked some mind-boggling pictures during his stay in France, but found the back of the net only once against Udinese in sixteen appearances for the Nerazzurri. Roberto Mancini tactfully played down talks of making the loan deal permanent as he stated that the 29-year-old forward is keen on a move back to Emirates Stadium. Arsene Wenger is not a happy man.
Empoli were a delight to watch.
Empoli may have finished fifteenth forty four points adrift of the pinnacle of the Italian league confirming their participation in the top division for the fifth time in ten seasons, but they certainly played more attractive football than most other teams. They attacked and tackled with their heads on, but with style. The Castellani Stadium outfit were often seen as the stage to showcase raw talent and they cut the mustard with some elegance. Europa League beckons.
Milan clubs still have a long way to go.
For the second year in a row, there will not be a Milan representative in Champions League, but what is to be noted is the difference in points, let alone quality, between the third placed Lazio and the mid-table Milan clubs. Appointment of Fillipo Inzhagi and Roberto Mancini did not seem to have produced the desired results as San Siro and Inter were reported to have hit a new low when average attendance was taken into account.
Transfer of high-profile players did not work as predicted as the former Italian giants are now regarded as shadows of their former selves, who clinched back-to-back titles in Europe and Italy.