Saturday, May 13, 2017

13 May 2012 - Invincibles In Italy

On 13 May 2012, Juventus completed the Serie A season as undefeated champions with a 3-1 win over Atalanta.

They had finished the previous season in disappointing fashion, taking seventh place in the final table. That prompted the sacking of manager Luigi Delneri, who had held on to the post for a little over a year. The club replaced him with former Juventus midfielder Antonio Conte, who had played there from 1991 to 2003 and who had ended the 2010-11 season by guiding Serie B side Siena back to the top flight.

Juve made one other significant change over the summer, signing former Milan midfielder Andrea Pirlo as a free agent.

Led by the combination of Conte on the touchline and Pirlo on the pitch, Juventus battled with Milan in a tight race for the Scudetto and finally claimed the title with an away win over Cagliari on 6 May. By that point, they had won 22 and drawn 15 of their 37 matches over the course of the season. One week later, with the championship firmly in hand, they completed their unbeaten season with the home win over Atalanta. It was the first time any team went undefeated over the course of a 38-game season and only the third undefeated Serie A season overall (Perugia did it over the course of 30 games in 1978-79 and Milan did it over the course of 34 games in 1991-92).

Counting a draw on the last day of the 2010-11 season, the win stretched Juve's overall unbeaten league streak to 39. They extended it to 49 through the first 10 games of the 2012-13 season before finally losing to Inter on 3 November. Though impressive, it still fell short of the overall Italian league record of 58, set by Milan over the course of the 1990-91 to 1992-93 seasons.

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