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Football

Juventus retain Serie A title

Bianconeri clinch their second successive Scudetto with a 1-0 win over Palermo as bottom side Pescara are relegated.

Last Modified: 05 May 2013 16:02
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Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal wrapped up the title when he converted a penalty in the 59th minute, amid Palermo protests [GALLO/GETTY]

Juventus clinched their second successive Serie A title on Sunday with a controversial 1-0 win over Palermo to secure the Antonio Conte-coached team's 29th league crown with three rounds remaining.

Arturo Vidal gave Juventus the lead shortly before the hour mark, firing home a debatable penalty after Massimo Donati was adjudged to have pushed over Mirko Vucinic.

The goal sparked great celebration among the home fans, who had been momentarily silenced when Palermo captain Fabrizio Miccoli hit the post.

Juventus' Paul Pogba was sent off seven minutes from time for spitting at Salvatore Aronica.

The result left Juventus provisionally 14 points clear of Napoli, who host Inter Milan later.

Moving on

It is Conte's second title in as many years as Juventus coach and helps put the club's darkest period even further behind it.

Juventus last won back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2006 but were then stripped of both and relegated to Serie B in a wide-ranging match-fixing scandal that rocked Italian football.

The fans and club still count those two titles and after the final whistle a giant banner was unfurled in the centre circle with the number 31.

Players and staff also celebrated with "31'' flags amid a small pitch invasion at the Juventus Stadium.

Meanwhile, AC Milan moved a step closer to securing a Champions League berth after a late Mario Balotelli goal gave them a 1-0 win over Torino.

With a better head-to-head record over Napoli, Juventus needed only a point to secure the title. They dominated the first half but struggled to carve out clear goalscoring opportunities.

Juventus' best chance came in the 28th minute when Palermo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino did well to turn Vucinic's shot around his post.

Vidal also went close when his strike went just wide of the left post.

Palermo almost stunned Juventus by taking the lead early in the second half but Miccoli's diagonal effort crashed off the base of the left post.

Penalty

Juventus took the lead when Donati barged Vucinic in the back as the Juventus striker was trying to chest down a ball from Pogba.

Vidal stepped up and fired into the bottom left corner.

He immediately ran over to the stands to hug teammate Simone Pepe, who has missed almost the entire season with injury.

Vucinic almost doubled Juventus' lead when he volleyed Pogba's cross towards goal only to be denied by Sorrentino.

Palermo came close to scoring an equaliser when Abel Hernandez's shot flashed millimetres wide of the left upright.

Palermo are three points off safety after Genoa condemned bottom club Pescara to Serie B with a 4-1 victory.

476

Source:
AP
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