Inter celebrate Serie A title after Atalanta are held by Sassuolo | European club football

Internazionale won their first Serie A title in 11 years on Sunday after Sassuolo drew 1-1 with second-placed Atalanta to guarantee Antonio Conte’s side the league crown.

Inter are 13 points clear in first place with four games remaining, and their triumph ends a run of nine consecutive title wins for Juventus.

Large crowds of flag-waving fans gathered outside the Duomo in the centre of Milan to celebrate Inter’s first title since winning the Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League treble in 2010 under José Mourinho, and their 19th overall.

Inter have therefore overtaken Milan, who have 18 Serie A titles, to become the second-most successful club in the league’s history behind Juventus, with 36 league wins.

Juve have struggled this season under their new coach, Andrea Pirlo, and are involved in a fierce battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Conte’s side have looked destined to claim the league crown for most of the season after showing a level of consistency that their rivals could not match.
Inter have topped the league since beating Lazio 3-1 on 14 February. They are unbeaten since 6 January.

The strike partnership of Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martínez has been crucial to their success, the pair scoring a combined 36 league goals. Inter also boast the best defensive record in the league with 29 goals conceded in 34 games.

In the decisive match, the Atalanta goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini was sent off after 22 minutes, but the Bergamo club went in front 10 minutes later through a Robin Gosens strike. Sassuolo equalised early in the second half through a Domenico Berardi penalty, but the hosts were then also reduced to 10 men when Marlon earned a second yellow and conceded a penalty. However, Luis Muriel’s spot kick was saved by Andrea Consigli.

Inter defeated Crotone 2-0 on Saturday to move up to 82 points, and Atalanta’s draw ensured it was mathematically impossible for any of the chasing pack to catch them.

Two late goals from Cristiano Ronaldo earned Juventus a 2-1 comeback win against Udinese on Sunday to give the Turin club a precious three points in the Serie A top-four race. Juve climbed into third place on 69 points, level with Atalanta in second and Milan in fourth, but two points ahead of fifth-placed Napoli.

Lionel Messi led Barcelona to a quickfire comeback to win 3-2 at Valencia and keep the pressure on La Liga title rivals Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid.

Lionel Messi scores Barcelona’s third goal from a free-kick.
Lionel Messi scores Barcelona’s third goal from a free-kick. Photograph: Pablo Morano/Reuters

Valencia defender Gabriel Paulista headed into an empty net from a corner in the 50th minute after the Barcelona goalkeeper, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, had stumbled. The visitors reacted well to going behind and soon won a penalty thanks to a handball from Valencia’s Toni Lato. Messi saw his spot-kick saved by former teammate Jasper Cillessen but Valencia failed to clear the danger and the Argentine followed up to score in the 57th minute.

Antoine Griezmann gave Barça the lead six minutes later, also netting on the rebound after Cillessen could only parry a header from Frenkie de Jong, while Messi looked to have clinched the points in the 69th by firing a free-kick in off the post.

Valencia got back into contention out of nowhere when Carlos Soler scored with an unstoppable strike in the 83rd minute and had a couple of half-chances to equalise but Barcelona clung on for the win. Ronald Koeman’s side are third on 74 points with four games remaining, level with second-placed Real Madrid and two behind the leaders Atlético Madrid after both sides won on Saturday. Fourth-placed Sevilla, on 70, host Athletic Bilbao on Monday.

Ajax celebrate
Ajax’ players celebrate the club’s 35th national title. Photograph: Maurice van Steen/ANP/AFP/Getty Images

Ajax were crowned Dutch champions in emphatic style on following a 4-0 home thrashing of lowly Emmen that gives them an unassailable lead and extends their record number of domestic championship wins to 35.

Jurrien Timber, Sébastien Haller, Devyne Rensch and Davy Klaassen all scored as Ajax overwhelmed their relegation-threatened opponents, who had come into the fixture on the back of three straight wins but were no match for the champions.

Ajax retain the title they won two years ago after the championship was called off in the 2019-20 campaign due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The title win caps an excellent week for Ajax after coach Erik ten Hag also signed a new contract to keep him at the club until June 2023.

Ten-man Lyon revived their Champions League hopes while almost ending Monaco’s Ligue 1 title dreams as the substitute Rayan Cherki earned them a last-gasp 3-2 win.

Monaco trail the leaders, Lille, by five points and second-placed Paris Saint-Germain by four after both won their respective games on Saturday.

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