Juventus have won a ninth consecutive Serie A title following their 2-0 win over Sampdoria on Sunday.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 31st goal of the season in waning seconds of the first half at Juventus Stadium, with Federico Bernardeschi sealing the match with an excellent effort in the 67th minute.

The Bianconeri have come out on top in a season that saw the league suspended for three months due to the coronavirus pandemic and saw the country go into lockdown on March 10.

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Following a summer of change when Massimiliano Allegri departed after winning the Scudetto in each of his five seasons at the club and replaced by Maurizio Sarri, who won his first league trophy with Sunday’s victory.

Ronaldo, in his second year at the club, said on Instagram that he was “very happy for the second successive title and to continue help building the history of this great and splendid club.”

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci admitted that it had not been easy to adapt to the tactics of Sarri.

“This season was the most beautiful and difficult title of all,” said Bonucci, who has been present for eight of the nine last seasons.

“We struggled to interpret the coach’s instructions at times … We started on a new journey with a lot of scepticism around us but we kept giving everything, despite a few slip-ups.”

Bonucci added that a lot of adjustment was needed following the unexpected stoppage due to the pandemic, especially since they had to play in front of empty stands once Serie A action resumed last month.

“It’s been a complicated year for everyone,” he added. “It’s been tough to re-start the championship without the spectators and it was difficult to get going again after so many months without playing.

“It’s the most beautiful because we wanted it and we suffered for it.”

Sarri confessed it was hard work to get the team to adapt to his style of play, especially with so many outstanding individual talents in the squad.

“Winning is hard and every year it gets more complicated,” said Sarri after Sunday’s win.

“Taking something for granted in sport is one of the biggest mistakes you can make and for this group it was certainly not a walk in the park.

“You have to tiptoe in and slowly change the things you like least. It’s not like you can just walk into a club that has been winning for eight years and change things, that would not be clever.

“However, as the months went by, I got to know the people I was coaching, not just the professionals.

“There are moments of discussion and confrontation in every dressing-room, I think that’s normal. You just have to face up to it — the more you do that, the more problems you solve.”

Despite not playing vintage football, Juventus finish the season on top of the rest, while Ronaldo remains in the hunt to be the league’s leading marksman with two games left to play. He is two goals behind Lazio star Ciro Immobile (33 goals) following Sunday’s action, with the duo nearing Gonzalo Higuain‘s record of 36 in a Serie A season.

Juve could still win the Champions League this season as they look to overturn a 1-0 round-of-16 first-leg deficit against French side Lyon.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.

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