After a tough start to the season, Juventus went on to win 26 of their last 28 games to claim a historic fifth consecutive Scudetto.
Going into the season, Juventus were the favorites to claim the Scudetto but had just come off a summer of retooling as key members were on their way out. Due to the many changes at the club, the bianconeri struggled out of the blocks and found themselves in mid-table eleven points back of league leaders Roma after ten rounds. What transpired in the next twenty five games or so was truly memorable as Allegri’s men would go on to win 24 and draw one. With Napoli pushing them to the limit, Juventus do what they’ve done best in the best four seasons and were formidable down the stretch.
Serie A: Champions.
Champions League: Round of 16 exit.
Coppa Italia: Defeated Milan 1-0 to win trophy.
While their attack started to gel mid-way through the season, it was the play of the defense that really got their season back on track. At one point in the season, Juventus had not conceded a goal for 974 minutes, a Serie A record. In fact, the Italian champions still haven’t conceded a goal in league play at home in 2016. As a result of their stellar defense and consistent offense, all the ingredients for another Scudetto were there.
In the Champions League, by contrast, Juventus were looking to bounce back from a final defeat to Barcelona. After a good start to the group stages that saw them claim six points from their first two games, Juventus stumbled against Borussia Moenchengladbach with two consecutive draws. Despite beating Manchester City both home and away, their loss in the final match-day to Sevilla meant that Juventus finished second in the group and had to draw a first place team. And just like that they drew Bayern Munich in the round of 16. After going down by two goals at home within sixty minutes, Juventus rallied back and eventually drew the game 2-2. With the tie still very much open, la Vecchia Signora went to the Allianz Arena firing.
Like Bayern Munich did at their home, Juventus went up by two goals but would surrender the lead in stoppage time. In extra time goals from Thiago and their very own Kingsley Coman proved enough to send out Juventus from the Champions League in heartbreaking fashion. That said, their two-legged affair with the Bavarian giants proved that Juventus are ready to dance with Europe’s biggest clubs and are only a few steps away from being at that level. This offseason will be decisive in this regard and will determine if Juventus will make another deep run in next year’s Champions League.
It was business as usual for Juventus in the Coppa Italia as the Turin based outfit dispatched Torino, Lazio and fierce rivals Inter on their way to the final where they will meet Milan. Juventus are the current holders of the title and should they beat the rossoneri on Saturday, it will be their second consecutive domestic double.
Player of the season – Paulo Dybala
La Joya was arguably Juventus’ best player on the season and was the difference maker in most of the side’s key games throughout the season. His main competitor for this title is Gianluigi Buffon, who at the ripe age of 38 had yet another fantastic season between the posts. In his 45 appearances in all competitions this season, Dybala notched 23 goals and nine assists surpassing the tally of his compatriot Carlos Tevez in his debut season. Without Dybala dazzling the opposition in the final third, it’s hard to imagine Buffon hoisting the Scudetto.
Signing of the season – Sami Khedira
The German international was as important as they come for Juventus and returned to his pre-injury form. Here’s a fun stat: Juventus did not lose a Serie A game that Khedira featured in. Moreover, the only game Khedira himself lost was against Bayern Munich. However, he was subbed out of that game when Juventus were 2-1 up. In any case, the former Real Madrid man was simply sublime throughout the season and complimented Claudio Marchisio and Paul Pogba wonderfully. If he can stay out of the infirmary more, he can very well establish himself as the best midfielder in the league.
Final Word –
Overall it was another impressive season from Juventus en route to the title. When everyone (but the advanced stats community) ruled them out of the Scudetto race, they doubled down and came back from the dead. The only dark spot on an otherwise astonishing campaign was their Champions League exit in the round of 16. Despite it being Bayern, Juventus will be kicking themselves for not progressing to the next round as they were in the lead with minutes to spare. As a result, next season the focus will mainly be on taking the next step in Europe and going deep in the competition on a consistent basis. However, their failings in Europe didn’t stop Juventus from having a great campaign as they are on course for another domestic double, which isn’t something to sniffle at. All in all, Allegri and his men will be happy with their performances over the past year and will look to build on it going into next season where they are once again the heavy favorites.