Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo watches during the Italian Cup soccer final match between Atalanta and Juventus at the Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia, Italy, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (Alberto Lingri/LaPresse via AP)

A Serie A season like no other heralded a changing of the guard at the top of Italian football.

In his second year in charge of Inter Milan, Antonio Conte masterminded a superb league campaign that ended his club’s 11-year wait for the title.

In doing so, Conte halted Juventus’ nine-year stranglehold on the trophy, a run that he kick-started by leading the Turin club to the first three between 2011 and 2014.

The Bianconeri snuck into the top-four on the final day of the season, but it did little to paper over the cracks of a disappointing campaign.

Inter’s run to the title was more of a gradual acceleration than an explosive sprint out of the blocks.

Their rivals AC Milan were the early pace-setters, and it was only after suffering a disappointing group stage Champions League exit that Inter’s domestic dominance began to show.

Football – Serie A – Inter Milan v Udinese – San Siro, Milan, Italy – May 23, 2021. Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku celebrate inside the stadium after winning Serie A. [REUTERS/Massimo Pinca]

Conte’s side were fired by Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez, who scored 39 league goals between them, and marshalled by a defence that conceded a league-low 35 goals.

They reached top spot in mid-February and immediately stretched their advantage with a thumping 3-0 Milan Derby win. From there, Conte’s side never looked back.

Inter sealed the title with four games to spare, sparking huge celebrations from their long-suffering fans outside Milan’s iconic Duomo.

“They have grown a lot with their mentality. Now they are players who have won something,” Conte said.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here