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Race for the Scudetto: Candreva bosses Roma; Spalletti to shock Napoli; Juventus shattered on and off the pitch

And finally it is official: Juventus have been docked 10 points in another twist in the case against the club over alleged false accounting. Now it is impossible to reach fourth place (pending Uefa's decisions): without doubt this was the key moment of the Serie A weekend. Here's what else happened...


Probably he has been one of the best players with Salernitana for months, he is the man who helped the team avoid relegation, although Boulaye Dia, who also starred with a goal against Roma, will rightly take the plaudits.

In Monday afternoon's match against the Giallorossi, Candreva was the protagonist of a splendid goal, a volley that left Rui Patricio frozen to the spot, a goal that few footballers are capable of. Against the Giallorossi, decimated by injuries and Europa League's fatigue, it was he who led Paulo Sousa's team, galvanized by the certainty of staying in Serie A and thus free to play without fear or negative thoughts.

Decisive in attack, fundamental for his balancing work in the middle of the field, becoming for all intents and purposes the extra man for his teammates, Candreva is now 36 years old, but on the field he looks about a decade younger, thanks in part to a technical quality evidently above the average of many of his even younger colleagues. Over the years he has humbly chosen to go and play for less noble and less important teams than those to which he aspired when he was a young player. With such drive, he is now Salernitana's captain and symbol of the team.


On the day Napoli won yet another game in a championship that will go down in history, the name that earns the headline is not one of the usual ones. It is not Victor Osimhen, it is not Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, not even Kim Min-jae or Piotr Zielinski, but it is that of Gianluca Gaetano, born in 2000.

It was he who scored the final goal of the 3-1 win in Saturday's match between the Italian champions and Simone Inzaghi's Inter Milan, clearly with his head already set on the Champions League final (and how can you blame him?). The match had already been won, as the score was 2-1, but the fact that he found the way to the goal gives a different meaning to the match and adds further magic to Napoli's year.

A boy from the youth team, one who knows well what Napoli is and what it means to cheer the team, finding the goal in a game that is part of a journey that will forever remain in the mind of every Napoli fan. Luciano Spalletti said, "you will see how strong he is", and he is one to be trusted, given what the Tuscan coach has done this year....


Like a bolt out of the blue, not even time to celebrate a much-deserved Scudetto, the wonderful love story between Luciano Spalletti and Napoli may already be over. Of course, no one will ever be able to forget the season they just experienced, with the magic and wonders of a team that Neapolitans will probably be able to list as a recital even 40 or 50 years from now.

In no way will a violent separation in the next few days taint the memory of this season, but to break up at this time would be truly inexplicable. Or rather, maybe Spalletti knows that in Naples he cannot do more than this as president Aurelio De Laurentiis in the summer will sell their most important players - accepting very rich offers (Victor Osimhen and Kim Min-jae are receiving gigantic offers from top European clubs). But the impression is that if everyone could work in the same direction it would be possible to open a cycle of victories, to try to start the next season with the goal of winning a second consecutive Scudetto.

The impression is that in a few days Spalletti and Napoli's paths will part, and it will be impossible not to think "what a shame".


First the ten points docked, then a resounding 4-1 defeat at Empoli's home. It was a nightmare evening for Juventus fans, for Max Allegri and for all his players. On Monday night in Tuscany the worst possible version of the Bianconeri entered the field, literally crashed and overwhelmed on the pitch by Paolo Zanetti's boys. Two goals for Francesco Caputo, one for Sebasiano Luperto and one for Roberto Piccoli, beyond the 90th minute, after the useless goal scored by Fede Chiesa when the score was 3-0.

The impression is that Juventus' black period has just begun, with the standings likely to be further changed by new inevitable rulings. The situation is dramatic, all that has been talked about for several days are the possible farewells of Angel Di Maria and Dusan Vlahovic in the summer, players who arrived in Turin with the goal of winning the Champions League and the championship, ready to leave at a time of deep crisis for the Bianconeri environment.

In any case, kudos must be given to Caputo and his teammates because after achieving mathematical safety in the league they also had the satisfaction of beating Juventus with a very resounding score.

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Matteo Vitale
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Matteo Vitale

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