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Mandzukic, Dybala fire Juve to record scudetto


Turin (Italy) (AFP) – First-half goals from Mario Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala, and a late header from Alex Sandro sealed a 3-0 win over Crotone to hand Juventus a record sixth consecutive Serie A title Sunday.

Massimiliano Allegri’s men took a one-point lead over Roma into their penultimate game of the league campaign and needed a win to secure the title.

Ahead of their final game at Bologna next week, Juve are now four points ahead of their closest challengers.

Mandzukic gave the hosts a 12th minute lead when he met Juan Cuadrado’s cross at the back post to fire past Alex Cordaz in the visitors’ net.

Croatia international Mandzukic, celebrating his 31st birthday, almost gave Juve a 2-0 lead before Fabio Sampirisi toe-poked the ball away from the big forward as he teed up.

But the fans who packed out Juve’s stadium for their final home game of the campaign were not to be denied.

Dybala doubled the Turin giants’ lead with a sumptuous free kick that curled into the top corner to leave Cordaz with no chance six minutes before half-time.

Looking for a win to boost their top-flight survival hopes, Crotone came close to reducing arrears on the stroke of half time when Diego Falcinelli’s effort deflected off Mehdi Benatia’s back to leave ‘keeper Gianluigi Buffon stranded, the ball skimming the far top corner.

But the Calabrians were never likely to deny Juventus the well-deserved title celebrations, that had been put on hold last week when Roma stunned Allegri’s men 3-1 at the Stadio Olimpico.

Juve bounced back from their defeat in the capital three days later with a 2-0 Cup final victory over Lazio.

And their third consecutive league and Cup double, also a record, was al but sealed seven minutes before full time when Cordaz palmed Sandro’s bullet header in off the underside of the crossbar, goal-line technology confirming it had crossed the line.

Juventus will now turn their focus to winning an unprecedented club treble when they face 11-time champions Real Madrid in the Champions League June 3 final in Cardiff.

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