The Juventus fans did not stop chanting, from the first minute to the last. It wasn’t the performance in front of them that was anything special. It was simply the moment.
Juventus won the title a day earlier. Their nearest rival, Roma, lost to Catania, confirming a third straight Scudetto for the Bianconeri. The players were watching it all in a private hotel room.
“It's the second time I've won a Scudetto without setting foot on the pitch,” said Gianluigi Buffon, per The Guardian. “To tell you the truth I prefer celebrating after a victory of my own.”
But they already achieved so many great victories. There were 10 of the those 1-0 wins in Serie A. They recovered from that setback at Fiorentina in October, when Giuseppe Rossi scored a hat-rick to complete the comeback against Juventus. This team always managed to do enough to get what they needed. They were thorough and celebrated each following win a little bit harder.
And so they went on Monday back home to Juventus Stadium, to give the fans and the peripheral figures a moment just for them.
Simone Padoin scored his first goal of the season. Even Simone Pepe got to play. He has barely played 10 competitive minutes this whole season. Carlos Tevez and Andrea Pirlo did not start.
They were finally able to let down their guard a little. And even then, Juventus still beat Atalanta for their 18th win at home in Serie A. One more home game left, and they could go perfect.
Juventus: Are the only team with 100% home record in Europe’s top 5 leagues this season winning each of their 18 home games #Juve— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) May 5, 2014
With the victory, Juventus set a Serie A record for most in a single season (31), and they improved on their club-record points total (96). They need four points from their remaining two matches to get 100. Roma could not stop Juventus from winning the title, but they could halt a record-breaking run when they face each other on Sunday.
This is a team that still has aspirations this season, even after winning the title. They have already made so much history—why not more?
There were many mistakes in this match. Not that the fans seemed to care. Only until Tevez replaced Dani Osvaldo did Juventus play with passion, and that’s when Padoin scored.
The players jumped all over each other at the end. They tossed coach Antonio Conte in the air.
Conte is so much one of them. Just outside that hotel on the weekend, he made sure to hug each and every one of his players, not to forget to make an individual connection. It is easy to celebrate in a group. Conte has that personal touch.
During this game, he wasn’t so fiery. He didn’t yell so much, although in the post-match interview, his voice was still hoarse. He even cracked a smile afterwards. It was his 100th win as a manager of Juventus, per Football Italia.
On the way to the stadium, Leonardo Bonucci led a choir on the bus, the players singing the anthem of the team. At the stadium, the fans behind one of the goals waved their green, white and red flags. Before the game, the Juventus players strolled on the pitch in their polo shirts as the fans trickled in. And after the game, they did interviews, the reality settled.
“It’s spectacular to come here and win the Scudetto in my first season,” Fernando Llorente told Sky Sport Italia (h/t Football Italia). It’s incredible, a dream for me, and now after such hard work we can enjoy it.”