Friday May 5 2017
On This Day: Three-way Scudetto shoot-out

On May 5 2002, Inter, Juventus and Roma all went into the final match with the chance to win the Scudetto.

The Nerazzurri were in the driving seat, only needing a win away at Lazio to secure their first title since 1989.

Fans of the Biancocelesti, fearful that their city rivals would retain their crown, urged Angelo Peruzzi to “lean on his post”, and many were cheering for the opposition.

Juve lay one point behind, four wins in a row having seen them return to contention after a mid-season slump.

Zinedine Zidane had been sold to Real Madrid the previous summer for a world record fee, with Pavel Nedved, Lilian Thuram and Gianluigi Buffon coming in to replace the Frenchman.

The defending champions, Roma, sat a further point behind and knew that both of their rivals would have to slip-up to give them any chance of holding on to the Scudetto.

It was Juventus who put down the first marker, taking a 2-0 lead after just 11 minutes thanks to goals from David Trezeguet and Alessandro Del Piero.

Marcello Lippi’s men had effectively secured the necessary three points, and attention turned to Stadio Olimpico.

Things appeared to be going to plan for the Beneamata, Christian Vieri giving them the lead after 12 minutes.

Karel Poborsky levelled things up, but Luigi Di Biagio’s header put Inter back in the driving seat.

The Nerazzurri though, were to suffer a painful collapse.

With half-time looming, Vratislav Greško attempted to head the ball back to Francesco Toldo, but Poborsky ghosted in to put the Aquile back on terms.

In the second half, former Inter man Diego Simeone and current Lazio Coach Simone Inzaghi both scored to condemn the Beneamata to a 4-2 defeat.

Ronaldo, in his last game for the club, wept on the bench and Marco Materazzi somehow avoided a red card for a furious lunge at Poborsky.

In Turin, Antonio Cassano’s beautiful chip saw Roma beat Torino 1-0, ensuring that Inter would fall from first to third in the space of 90 minutes.

Back in Udine, delighted Juventini swarmed the pitch to celebrate a 26th Scudetto, and their first since 1998.

Del Piero and Trezeguet had hit 52 goals between them in all competitions, with the Frenchman sharing the Serie A Capocannoniere crown with Dario Hubner.

To this day, fans of the Bianconeri still celebrate 5 Maggio 2002, while Interisti almost certainly still shudder at the mention of Karel Poborsky.

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