Juventus have claimed the Serie A championship thanks to Roma's 4-1 loss at the hands of Catania on Sunday.
Fox Soccer Trax's official Twitter account reported the news, as Juventus won their third consecutive league title:
Juventus have clinched the Italian Serie A Scudetto after Catania defeated Roma 4-1 today— FOX Soccer Trax (@FOXSoccerTrax) May 4, 2014
This was a surprising development, considering Catania were last in the Serie A standings entering Sunday's action, while Roma still had an outside shot at challenging the perennial champions for the trophy. It wasn't to be, though, as Catania fed off their home crowd and put forth a blitz on the attack that blindsided the visitors.
Paolo Bandini of The Guardian noted how stout Roma's defence had been all season, only to suffer a massive letdown when they needed to stand tallest:
Surreal end to the Serie A title race. Roma, who previously conceded 19 goals all season, loss 4-1 to last-placed Catania. Juve champions.— Paolo Bandini (@Paolo_Bandini) May 4, 2014
Mariano Julio Izco scored at 26 minutes and 34 minutes for Catania before Francesco Totti responded in the 37th minute to cut Roma's deficit to 2-1. Unfortunately for the heavy favorites, Totti's side wouldn't get any closer as the hosts pulled away at Stadio Angelo Massimino.
A match Monday against Atalanta awaits Juventus, and a win then would have clinched the Serie A trophy as it was. Now the focus can go toward refining the club's nucleus and moving on from the recent disappointment in falling short of the UEFA Europa League final.
Juventus lost the first leg of the Europa League semi-final to reigning Primeira Liga champion Benfica and then settled for a draw at nil to be eliminated from the tournament. Manager Antonio Conte expressed disappointment afterward, with referee Mark Clattenburg in particular, per BBC Sport:
I didn't appreciate either the attitude of our opponents or the referee. Uefa should show us more respect by sending a referee of the required standard. ... The referee allowed them to obstruct the play the whole game. Before the game he told us that he wouldn't stop play every time a player hit the floor, but that's what happened.
With only two losses all season in league play and a perfect 17-0-0 record at home, it doesn't appear Juventus will stray far from the pinnacle of Serie A in the years to come. A high-octane attack has produced 75 goals, led by veterans Carlos Tevez (19) and Fernando Llorente (15), along with rising Chilean international midfielder Arturo Vidal (11).
There is plenty to look forward to under Conte's impassioned leadership, as he played his senior career with Juventus and is now thriving as the club's boss. After an early exit in this season's Champions League in the group stage and the subsequent Europa League setback, Juventus have plenty to exact vengeance for in future international competitions.
For now, they can take solace in the fact that they've remained atop their native Serie A for an extended period of time, draw the positives from that and move forward with refined focus on bigger goals.