Allegri keeps cool as Juve celebrate title in Turin
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri kept his cool as the Italian giants celebrated their fifth consecutive title in Turin with a convincing 2-0 win over Carpi to leave them teetering on the edge of relegation.
Brazilian midfielder Hernanes hit his maiden goal for Juve to give the hosts a half-time lead but it took until Simone Zaza’s 80th minute strike, after he had replaced Alvaro Morata, for the title celebrations to really begin.
Juventus, now 15 points ahead of second-placed Napoli before they host Atalanta on Monday, had secured a record-equalling fifth consecutive Serie A crown last Monday when Roma defeated Napoli 1-0 in the capital.
But Allegri was in no mood for seeing complacency creep into his squad.
The last time the sides met, Allegri famously tore off his coat in a rage when Juventus came close to gifting the league minnows a late equaliser before wrapping up a 3-2 win.
This time, the 48-year-old coach remained composed as Juve soaked up a brief spell of pressure in the first half before settling into their stride in a far more convincing second.
Juve’s fans filled the stadium to help celebrate a fifth straight scudetto, which equalled the club’s record from 1935, and were soon given reason to cheer.
Paul Pogba tested ‘keeper Vid Belec with a volley at the near post from Leonardo Bonucci’s delightful cross in the opening exchanges, while Morata sent a diving header just wide.
But with top flight survival at stake, Carpi hit back and Buffon had to stick out a foot at his near post to deny Simone Verdi’s angled drive.
From the resulting corner, a mix-up between Jerry Mbakogu and Emanuele Suagher saw the latter volley wide of the target.
But those were the last of Carpi’s first-half chances, while at the other end defender Daniele Rugani saw a glancing header skim the crossbar.
Juventus finally broke the deadlock on 44 minutes, Hernanes’s low strike from the edge of the box sneaking inside Belec’s near post.
Morata had suffered a knock and made way for Zaza at the start of the second half, but while Juventus went on to control the remainder Carpi were unlucky not to level.
Kevin Lasagna had scored a precious winner for Carpi last week against Empoli to keep them above the relegation zone.
Lasagna started on the bench but his arrival gave the visitors a welcome boost. A quick effort from the attacking midfielder was just off target, while Filippo Porcari’s had Buffon on tenterhooks when his drive skimmed the post as the ‘keeper looked on.
At the other end Juve striker Mario Mandzukic failed to make proper contact with Stephan Lichsteiner’s cross and Bonucci missed the target with the follow-up.
Moments later, Zaza held off defender Simone Romagnoli to get on the end of Pogba’s cross and send a looping header into the top corner on 80 minutes.
Carpi remain fourth from bottom and three points clear of Palermo, who host Sampdoria later Sunday.
AC Milan host Frosinone in a bid to maintain their faint hopes of Europa League football, while city rivals Inter are at Lazio in Sunday’s late fixture.
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