Juventus vs. Cagliari: 6 Things We Learned
Juventus kicked off their final match of 2013-14 safe in the knowledge that the Serie A title was already assured. The Bianconeri have been in incredible domestic form throughout the campaign and have certainly enjoyed a season to remember.
With a new record points tally set last week, very little motivation remained for the squad, yet they still ran out 3-0 winners against their overwhelmed opponents. Cagliari proved no match for the all-conquering champions, able to provide little resistance to the Turin giants.
Over the following pages are six lessons to be taken from the game.
This Juventus Is Truly 1 for the Ages
Having already bettered Inter's record points tally, Juventus have raised the bar significantly this term. Victory here took them to a staggering 102 points, a total that could stand for quite some time, and they can look to their imperious home form as a major factor.
The win over Cagliari meant the Bianconeri are now the only team to ever record a perfect campaign on their own soil, winning an incredible 19 of 19 matches at Juventus Stadium. That dominance bodes well for next season, and few teams will relish a trip to Turin in 2014-15.
Antonio Conte Puts All the Credit on His Players
Antonio Conte has enjoyed a remarkable three seasons at Juventus, winning the title in each campaign and setting countless records along the way. The coach is quick to defer to his players however, quickly praising them to Sky Italia once the final whistle blew against Cagliari, telling them (via FootballItalia):
The players were special with three straight titles and a record of points, but they surpassed themselves because 102 points will be very tough to beat.
I will never stop thanking them. I tried to pull them to the end, but it wasn’t hard to get them going really. I continually thank them, as over three years they have been incredible.
But the Players Thank the Coach
While he may believe it is those on the field who are responsible for Juve's success, Antonio Conte's players are happy to hand him the plaudits. Speaking to Sky Sport Italia, Andrea Pirlo thanked the coach, telling them how he had transformed the club's fortunes.
"This was an extraordinary campaign and crowned by this victory,” the midfielder said (via Football Italia). "Much of the credit for these trophies goes to Conte, as he picked up a team fresh from finishing seventh twice and won three Scudetti in a row.”
And so Do the Supporters
The prospect of Conte leaving Juventus, via Matthew Scott of Goal.com, has dominated the headlines in recent weeks, with serious questions asked about how long he will remain with the club. Against Cagliari, the Bianconeri supporters would leave no such uncertainty about their faith in the 44-year-old coach.
As the second half began, the fans behind one goal unveiled a huge banner with a picture of Conte’s face and the phrase: "Without you we won’t go far...Because you are the best and have Juve in your heart!!!"
Focus Will Now Shift to Transfer Talk
With the season over, talk about potential transfer targets is likely to dominate the news, and that is certain to be the case with Juventus. Always linked with a plethora of new signings, the Bianconeri collapsing in the Champions League could see a shift in focus and players arriving to fill that tactical shift.
As always, you can follow all the latest transfer news and rumours with our tracker here.
And the World Cup
Of course, the other major talking point this summer will be the World Cup, and that will be no different at Juventus. In fact, only Bayern Munich and Manchester United have more players among the provisional squads for Brazil, which were named last week, which should mean plenty of Juventus-based storylines throughout the tournament.