Defending champions Juventus mathematically secured a record-equalling fifth consecutive Serie A title on Sunday after Roma stunned second-placed Napoli with a last-gasp winner.

Juventus, emulating their feat of 1935 when the Turin giants won a fifth straight title for the first time, had gone 12 points clear of Napoli with a 2-1 win at Fiorentina on Saturday when goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon made a last-gasp penalty save from Nikola Kalinic.

Napoli had to beat Roma to have any chance of maintaining their bid for a first title in 26 years, but Maurizio Sarri’s men were stunned when Radja Nainggolan hit an 89th minute winner for the hosts.

It left Juve 12 points clear of Napoli with only three games remaining this season. Napoli remain second but are now just two points ahead of Roma. 

Five key games for Juventus during their successful campaign to win a record-equalling fifth consecutive Serie A title:

Matchday 10, October 28

Sassuolo 1 Juventus 0

As the champions’ dismal start to their title defence continued, defeat to Sassuolo must have had Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri turning in his sleep. After all, it was after a spectacular 4-3 reverse to the notoriously tough Tuscan side in January 2014, after his AC Milan side had lead 3-0, that Allegri was sacked as coach of the ‘Rossoneri’. Juventus however kept faith with Allegri, who had led Juve to their first Champions League final in 12 years during his first season in charge. But this time, defeat to Sassuolo provided the spur that sent the Bianconeri on an unbeaten run that has yet to end. With three games remaining, Juve have been unbeaten for their past 25 games.

Matchday 25, February 13

Juventus 1 Napoli 0

Having underlined their title credentials, and compounded Juve’s dismal start to the season with a 2-1 victory over the champions in Naples at the end of September, Napoli were less formidable in the corresponding away fixture five months later. A day before Saint Valentines, there was no love lost between the scudetto rivals in a tense encounter that was settled by Simone Zaza’s 88th minute strike. It was not a hammer blow, but promptly reminded Napoli that Juve’s early season woes were all but a distant memory.

Matchday 31, April 2

Juventus 1 Empoli 0

A week after putting tough-talking Torino in their place with a 4-1 derby win at the Stadio Olimpico, Juve struggled to find the net against a far more resilient Empoli when the league minnows visited Turin in late March. It finished only 1-0 at Juventus Stadium thanks to Mario Mandzukic’s 44th minute strike, but Napoli’s 3-1 away defeat at Udinese the next day — where 30-goal striker Gonzalo Higuain saw red for lashing out at the referee and was later handed a three-match ban — saw Juve take a significant step towards the crown by stretching their lead over the Azzurri to six points.

Matchday 33, April 17

Juventus 4 Palermo 0

With Gonzalo Higuain still sidelined through suspension, Napoli suffered another major slip in a 2-0 San Siro defeat to Inter Milan — and Juventus responded by enjoying a goals fest the next day. Germany midfielder Sami Khedira opened the scoring in Palermo after just 10 minutes to heap the pressure on the relegation-haunted Sicilians, with Paul Pogba, Juan Cuadrado and Simone Padoin adding second-half strikes as the champions took their lead over Maurizio Sarri’s men to nine points with five games remaining.

Matchday 35, April 24

Fiorentina 1 Juventus 2

Given a 39th minute lead by Mario Mandzukic, Juve’s hopes of a slim win from a tough trip to Fiorentina were kept in check during a dramatic finale that saw Nikola Kalinic level nine minutes from time. But Alvaro Morata came off the bench and just two minutes after Kalinic’s strike the Spaniard struck from close range following a messy corner. The champions put one hand on the title when Gianluigi Buffon saved a last-gasp penalty from Kalinic, and secured it when Napoli lost 1-0 at Roma on Monday.

Agence France-Presse

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