Football

Inter Milan claim Serie A crown after Atalanta stalemate at Sassuolo

Thousands of Inter Milan fans gathered in the city centre to celebrate the team's first title in more than a decade.
Thousands of Inter Milan fans gathered in the city centre to celebrate the team's first title in more than a decade. REUTERS - FLAVIO LO SCALZO

Inter Milan were crowned champions of Italy’s Serie A on Sunday afternoon for the first time since 2010.

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Antonio Conte’s side were able to celebrate the end of Juventus’s nine year stranglehold on the title after Atalanta drew 1-1 at Sassuolo.

That left Gianpiero Gasperini’s outfit 13 points behind Inter with four games remaining.

Inter had put the champagne on ice on Saturday night following a 2-0 victory at bottom-of-the table Crotone.

Christian Eriksen opened the scoring mid-way through the second-half and Achraf Hakimi added the gloss in stoppage-time to condemn the hosts to life in Serie B next season.

Pride

“The season we are having is the result of a constant growth from every point of view, not only technical and tactical, of mentality, sharing, living it intensely,” Conte told Sky Italia after the victory.

“All the players, even those who are less involved, have created something rock-solid.

“We understood the importance of doing something extraordinary and entering into the history of Inter.

“These players deserve to be congratulated. We are succeeding in toppling a reign that has lasted nine years.”

Ironically, Conte was at the genesis of that run. The former Juventus midfielder led his old club to three titles between 2012 and 2014.

Massimo Allegri took over and added five more between 2015 and 2019. Maurizio Sarri notched up last year’s championship in his first and only year as boss.

Delay

As Atalanta played on Sunday afternoon, scores of Inter fans gathered outside the Duomo in the city centre awaiting the result.

And they had reason to fear a delay to their celebrations when Robin Gosens gave Atalanta the lead after 32 minutes.

Domenico Berardi levelled from the penalty spot just after the pause but Sassuolo were unable to find a second goal despite dominating possession.

Atalanta almost made them pay for their imprecision. But Giacomo Raspadori cleared Gosens’ goal-bound effort off the line in virtually the last passage of play.

Seconds later referee Luca Pairetto blew the final whistle to launch the party.

The club's 19th championship takes them past AC Milan into second place behind Juventus' record haul of 36 crowns and is another feather in the cap of 51-year-old Conte who can also boast a title-winning campaign in the English Premier League with Chelsea in 2017.

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