Juventus won the Scudetto once again. Already, incidentally, for the seventh time in a row. You have to agree that such an indicator deserves deep respect. However, not everything has gone so smoothly for the Old Lady in the course of the current campaign. At least Massimiliano Allegri’s charges have not been in first place for a considerable part of the tournament distance.
However, even during those moments when the Bianconeri finished second, the feeling did not leave them feeling that it was only temporary. Sooner or later, Napoli, Juventus’ only rival for the league title, will be stuck in the same spot. And so it turned out. The Partenopei lost an unacceptable number of points at the end of the season, so even a win in Turin did not help them. And the “old lady”, along with the championship of Italy, also won the Cup of the country.
In general, the season can safely be considered a success for the “black and whites”, although the most offensive loss in the quarterfinals of the Champions League from Real Madrid somewhat spoils the whole picture. In any case, there will be plenty of people willing to dethrone Juventus next season. But the Bianconeri are the main contenders for the Serie A gold.
By the way, that season also caused a lot of excitement in India. Betting on Italian football clubs was as popular as Indian horse race tips.
Champions League zone
Unlike Juventus, Napoli, on the other hand, have plenty to be concerned about. After all, the Azzurri have been as close as ever to breaking the Turin side’s hegemony during the current campaign. But it was either Maurizio Sarri’s side who believed in the Scudetto or they simply did not have the necessary cushion, but the fact remains that the Little Donkeys missed their chance. All the complaints of the coach of Naples regarding his team losing the league title at the hotel clearly showed that the Azzurri are not mentally ready to be the champion of their country.
As it turned out, it didn’t help Napoli’s early Europa League exit (in the 1/16 finals against German RB Leipzig) either. Of course, for the Partenopei, the main thing is that a direct ticket to the Champions League is already in the pocket. But nothing can compare with winning the Scudetto.
There is no doubt that next season Napoli will try to take the title from Juventus. The more so because the legendary footballer of the Partenopei in the past, Diego Maradona, was looking forward to it. But it will be very difficult to push the Old Lady from their current position. And here much will depend not only on the physical readiness of Napoli players but also on the psychological.
As for Roma, the Wolfsburg side can be completely satisfied with the season. Yes, not everything was going well for Eusebio Di Francesco’s charges in the current championship. There were forced wins and unexpected setbacks, and the capital team’s play itself often left much to be desired. But in general, Giallo Rossi has not fallen below their level. And reaching the Champions League semi finals confirms once again that Roma is on the right track.
Who knows, maybe if the Wolves are successful in the transfer market this summer, then in the future they can fight for the Scudetto. Why not? The more so because, for once, the Romans have earned the most money in European competitions in Italy, surpassing Juventus themselves in that regard. That is yet to come.
Inter return to the Champions League. Luciano Spalletti’s side finished fourth, which can safely be called a success, especially against the background of previous failed seasons. However, if you look at how the Neradzurri went the whole tournament distance, it becomes clear that the Snakes could have achieved more. Thus, the Black and Blue went through the first part of the season undefeated and even topped Serie A for some time.
But then there was a long winless streak of eight games, which not only deprived the Milanese of the lead but also cast doubt on Inter’s position in the top-four. Over time, of course, Luciano Spalletti’s team began to win again, but, firstly, misfires continued to plague the Neradzurri and, secondly, the Serpents’ rivals in the form of the two teams from Rome did not sleep.
One round before the finish line, the situation in the fight for a place in the Champions League zone was not in Inter’s favor. “The Blues were three points behind Lazio and to qualify for the main competition of the Old World, they had to beat the Eagles at the Stadio Olimpico by all means. And they did. In a dramatic encounter in Rome, they clinched a vital 3-2 win that sent the Italians to the Champions League.
Of course, the next season will not be easy for Inter, because they will have to fight on several fronts and spend a lot of energy on the Champions League. But most importantly, the Snakes’ fans have hope for a bright future for their favorite team. Who knows, perhaps very soon the Black and Blue will become the club that will take away the Scudetto from Juventus. Why not?
Europa League zone
The Lazio players in Rome have a lot to be sad about. The Eagles were very close to finishing in the top four. However, a disappointing home defeat in the last round against Inter left Simone Inzaghi’s charges fifth. Although, of course, the Romans will long remember the away draw with Crotone in the penultimate Giornata, as the win against the Pythagoreans would have taken the club to the UCL and made the game with the Neradzurri a mere formality.
In any case, Lazio had a pretty good season. The Bianco Celesti even managed to beat Juventus on the road, which is quite a feat. And if you also remember that the Lazzilieni also played in the Europa League, then it turns out that it was harder for the Romans to fight for a place in the top four than for Inter.
Unfortunately, it all ended this way for Lazio, the more so given the fact that a number of the Eagles’ key players will certainly leave in the summer. However, we believe that next season the Bianco Celesti will not abandon their championship ambitions and will take the cherished goal by storm again.
AC Milan has had a very mixed season. On the one hand, it is good that the Rossoneri finished in the European zone. On the other hand, however, there is a feeling that the Devils could have done better. The club from the Capital of Mod had to change their coach during the season.
Former Milan legend Gennaro Gattuso replaced Vincenzo Montella, who failed for most of the first half of the season. And, it must be said, the Red and Black have improved significantly under the new manager. At one point it seemed that the Rossoneri could fight for the Champions League. But it was very bad timing; near the end of the season, Milan suffered a setback, after which it became clear that the Devils will have to wait longer with the Champions League. Gennaro Gattuso’s charges did not achieve much success in the Europa League either, leaving in the 1/8 finals at the hands of London’s Arsenal.
Even so, Milan could have had a successful season if the Red and Blacks had won the Italian Cup. But it didn’t work out here either: in the final, the Rossoneri were thrashed 0-4 by Juventus. In principle, the Devils have room for progress. But it also requires strengthening the squad, and the team bosses still need to give Gennaro Gattuso time, otherwise, constant changes in coaches will not lead to good results. In general, next season we will expect Milan to fight for a place in the top four, but it will not be surprising if the Rossoneri will not get there again. Everyone is used to the Red and Black’s setbacks.
Atalanta must be satisfied with its performance. Even though this season the “goddess” was fighting on two fronts, playing in the Europa League in parallel, Gian Piero Gasperini’s team not only managed to survive but also made it to the European Cup for the second time in a row. Even the sale of one of the Bergamas’ leaders, Franck Kessier, did not hurt the team. It seems that in the 2018/19 season they will also qualify for European competitions. Unless, of course, they lose all their key players, and the goddess entire does not leave for another club for promotion.
Quite expectedly Benevento returned to Serie B. Moreover, “witches” set a record, losing 14 matches in a row at the beginning of the season! Naturally, even the most loyal tiffosi of the club from Campania didn’t believe in saving their place in the elite of Italian soccer. Subsequently, Roberto De Dzerbi’s team did better, and “wizards” gradually began to gain points, but it was too late. Although Benevento still has one reason to be proud. It was a sensational away win over AC Milan. Well, at least we remembered something, and that’s good.
In contrast to the Witches, Verona did not look like such a hopeless underdog. There have been a few positive moments for Hellas this season. Yes, the Mastiffs could please their fans in some games, but that was not enough to ensure their success in the fight for survival. Despite everything, for a long time, Fabio Pecchia’s men kept alive their chances of survival, but their ugly streak at the end of the season buried the Bianconeri. Well, it will be interesting to see how the Hellas work their way back to Serie A.
The second miracle in a row did not happen. Last season Crotone seemed hopelessly close to relegation, but a striking series at the end of the season allowed the Pythagoreans to save themselves from relegation. This season, the Sharks also struggled to survive, and it must be said that, unlike the other underdogs, Walter Dzenga’s charges had a chance to survive until the final game. Alas, however, the loss to Napoli at the San Paolo sent Crotone to Serie B. It will certainly be difficult for the Pythagoreans to climb out of, but then again, the southerners have already shown by experience that nothing is impossible in football. They just need to do it again.
What to know about other teams
A pretty good performance this season was teams like Fiorentina, Sampdoria, and Torino. In any case, these teams have the resources to improve, and with proper reinforcements, in the coming summer, these teams may well next season qualify for the Cups. Genoa played at their level (although potentially the Griffins are capable of more), Cagliari, and SPAL from Ferrara can be congratulated for retaining their place in the elite, while Bologna, Udinese, and Chievo could have performed much better.
In principle, there have been no teams this season that have truly surprised with a plus sign. But it is worth noting the return of Inter in the Champions League and Atalanta’s second consecutive appearance in the European Cup zone.
Bologna was the disappointment of the season. The sixteenth place for a team with such potential – it’s just an awful result. And it’s better not to talk about how Roberto Donadoni’s side finished the season.