Juventus beats Cagliari to set new points record
MILAN (AP) — Juventus celebrated its third straight Serie A title with a 3-0 home victory over Cagliari on Sunday to reach 102 points for the season, a record in the major European leagues.
Antonio Conte’s side had already broken the Serie A points record but ensured it moved into triple figures by also becoming the first Italian side to win all its home games.
“It is an incredible and historic feat, which we have achieved all together,” Conte said. “What the players, staff and club have done is something incredible. They have been extraordinarily special and I will never stop thanking them.
“Sometimes you forget that victory is an exception, not normality. These lads have achieved something unique together: it will be difficult to repeat the 102 points. All future comparisons will be made with this squad.”
Andrea Pirlo, Fernando Llorente and Claudio Marchisio scored in a party atmosphere at Juventus Stadium.
Juventus players posed for a team photo with their children before kickoff while the trophy presentation and an open-top bus parade took place after the match. Juventus clinched the title two weeks ago.
Later, Parma beat Livorno 2-0 to take the final Europa League qualifying spot after Torino missed a stoppage-time penalty and drew 2-2 at Fiorentina.
Substitute Amauri headed both goals in for Parma.
“I have no words,” an emotional Amauri said. “During the week I was hoping to get this goal and I managed to do it, I’m happy for my family and for the fans. ... These are the rewards after putting in the hard work, now I want to play in the Europa League.”
AC Milan won 2-1 at home to Sassuolo — in a match which saw three red cards — but finished a point behind Parma.
Hellas Verona also had faint hopes of reaching Europe but lost 5-1 at Napoli.
In other games, it was: Genoa 1, Roma 0; Catania 2, Atalanta 1; Lazio 1, Bologna 0; and Chievo Verona 2, Inter Milan 1.
Pirlo fired Juventus into the lead in the ninth minute with one of his trademark free kicks, although it was awarded as an own goal by Marco Silvestri as it hit the crossbar before going in off the goalkeeper’s back.
Juventus doubled its lead six minutes later when the defense failed to clear after Leonardo Bonucci flicked on Pirlo’s corner and Llorente tapped in for his 18th goal of the season.
Marchisio scored a spectacular third, controlling the ball with his back to goal before flicking it up and firing it home with a swiveling volley.
At the start of the second half a huge banner was unveiled bearing Conte’s face and the words “Without you we won’t go far ... because you are the best and have Juve in your heart.”
Conte, who has yet to commit his future to the club, was given a standing ovation when he emerged for the trophy presentation, moving his wife to tears.
Juventus was unable to parade the trophy around the pitch. As soon as the trophy was lifted, fans invaded the pitch — prompting players, their families and coaching staff to run to the dressing room.
It appeared as if Parma’s European hopes were about to be dashed when Torino was awarded a last-gasp penalty after Facundo Roncaglia fouled Barreto.
However, Antonio Rosati saved Alessio Cerci’s spot kick to set off celebrations among the Parma players and fans and leave the Italy forward in tears.
“I think suffering is part of Torino fans’ DNA,” Torino coach Giampiero Ventura said. “I think it was an important year and we missed the chance to go to Europe with the draw last week and missing a penalty tonight.
“I’ve seen (Roberto) Baggio and (Franco) Baresi crying, it’s part of football to see players crying on the pitch, now Cerci is crying too. But only those who don’t dare, who don’t do, don’t make mistakes. Cerci should be more than proud of having done an extraordinary match.”
Fiorentina and Inter were already assured of Europa League spots, while Juventus, Roma and Napoli go into the Champions League.