- Associated Press - Thursday, May 4, 2017

MILAN (AP) - Nobody seems capable of stopping Juventus, at home or abroad.

After taking a step closer to the Champions League final on Wednesday, Juventus can secure an unprecedented sixth straight Serie A title this weekend if results go its way.

The team is also in the Italian Cup final, where it will face Lazio, and there is the feeling that this could be the year Juventus emulates the Inter Milan team of 2010 by winning the treble.

“We have a huge week coming up,” Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini said. “But we head into it with bundles of energy and enthusiasm.”

The first trophy can be clinched this weekend if Juventus wins at home against city rival Torino on Saturday and Roma fails to do the same at AC Milan the following day.

Juventus is currently riding a league record run of 33 straight victories at home, but a draw would also be enough if Roma loses at Milan.

If Juventus doesn’t clinch the title this weekend, it could win it the following Sunday - at Roma. That match comes days after the second leg of the Champions League semifinals against Monaco, with Juventus leading 2-0.

Since Serie A was founded in 1929, no club has won six straight titles - though Torino, Inter Milan and Juventus have all won five in a row.

Juventus has appeared to have had the title sewn up for several weeks - even months.

“When your goals appear close, that’s the moment to pedal even harder,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri wrote on Twitter before referencing Juve’s motto. “It’s really (hashtag)finoallafine (until the end).”

A key part of Juventus’ title defense has been its defense. The Bianconeri have conceded only 22 goals in the league, nine fewer than Roma.

Before last weekend’s 2-2 draw at Atalanta, Juventus hadn’t conceded in any competition since a 3-2 cup loss at Napoli - a run of five matches, which included two games against Barcelona.

The BBC of Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini earned yet more plaudits after another stingy display in Monaco.

“It’s the team which is special, the defense is only something extra,” Chiellini said. “The lads up front were exceptional tonight. We played well at the back but we had Gigi (Buffon) to thank, too, because when you’re up against players this good you always end up conceding a few chances.

“Andrea was immense while Dani (Alves) and Gonzalo (Higuain) did brilliantly to create the goals.”

The 39-year-old Buffon made two early saves on shots from Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe with the score 0-0, thwarted Radamel Falcao with a fine stop just after the break and denied Monaco with a superb finger-tip save over the bar on Valere Germain’s close-range header in the last minute.

“That’s why I’m there.” Buffon said. “My objective is for people to think ‘it’s a shame he’s stopped’ when I retire. That’s why I’m still working so hard, and it’s clear that playing in such a team helps me, because it makes me happy and there’s nothing better than working in such a positive environment.”

Buffon, who won the World Cup with Italy in 2006, has won almost all there is to win in the game - apart from the Champions League.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide