ROME: Juventus were finally able to celebrate winning their fifth straight Serie A title after nearest challengers Napoli lost 1-0 at Roma.
Ever since the Bianconeri, who have won 24 of their last 25 games, replaced Napoli as league leaders back in February the destination of the Scudetto has appeared to be Turin, and indeed Juve had pulled 12 points clear at the top by beating Fiorentina in Tuscany on Sunday.
Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri and many of his players watched from the comfort of their Vinovo training base as a late goal from Roma’s Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan at the Stadio Olimpico officially ended Napoli’s dream of landing a first Italian championship since 1990.
Thirty-goal striker Gonzalo Higuain and Dries Mertens did enjoy chances to keep Napoli in contention by scoring in the capital city but with 60 seconds remaining, Nainggolan rifled home from the D.
It was a bittersweet day for Hellas Verona, whose relegation to Serie B was confirmed only hours after they secured their best result of the season.
Luca Siligardi’s last-gasp free-kick earned the basement boys a brief stay of execution as AC Milan were stunned 2-1 at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi.
Jeremy Menez’s 21st-minute opener for Europa League-chasing Milan pushed Verona closer towards the relegation trapdoor but Giampaolo Pazzini sparked hope with a second-half penalty.
Hellas continued turning the screw and got their reward when former Inter Milan midfielder Siligardi found the target with his left boot in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
Two hours later, however, 17th-placed Carpi beat Empoli 1-0 thanks to a late Kevin Lasagna goal, making it impossible for Verona to achieve survival in the top flight.
Both teams had a man sent off at the Stadio Alberto Braglia. Levan Mchedlidze left Empoli a man light when he was dismissed in the first half and Lorenzo Lollo departed shortly after Lasagna’s strike.