Serie A

Inter take advantage of Calciopoli to storm to Serie A title - Serie A in 2006/07

 
9:10am on Saturday 4th April 2020
By
Martin Macdonald

With Juventus having been relegated to Serie B for the first time in their history, the Nerazzurri strengthened their side with two of the Bianconeri’s best players, Patrick Vieira and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, while AC Milan failed to mount a Serie A title challenge because of an eight-point deduction and the sale of Andriy Shevchenko to Chelsea.

Luciano Spalletti’s rapidly improving Roma side put up a valiant fight, delaying Inter’s title triumph with a win at San Siro before denying the Nerazzurri a double with victory in Coppa Italia final. However, there was no stopping Inter in the league and Roberto Mancini’s men won the Scudetto with five rounds to spare.

Marco Materazzi proved hugely influential at both ends of the field, with the uncompromising defender contributing 10 goals, Dejan Stankovic and Vieira formed a formidable midfield pairing, while Hernan Crespo and Ibrahimovic combined well up front.

CHANGES

As well as prising both Vieira and Ibrahimovic away from Juve, Inter also bolstered their defence with Brazilian duo Maxwell and Maicon, as well as bringing Crespo back to San Siro on a two-year loan from Chelsea.

Milan tried to offset the loss of star striker Shevchenko with the arrival of Ricardo Oliveira from Real Betis but the Brazilian flopped spectacularly at San Siro, as did the exciting young French trequartista Yoann Gourcuff, who had arrived from Rennes.

Elsewhere, Roma picked up Mirko Vucinic from Lecce, while Lazio signed a strong forward of their own in the shape of Goran Pandev.

SEASON SUMMARY

Milan opened with three successive victories but they then went into free-fall, winning one of their next nine games to leave their Scudetto challenge dead in the water.

Indeed, after drawing three of their first seven games, Inter embarked on a record-breaking run of 17 consecutive victories to leave everyone trailing in their wake.

The Nerazzurri had a slight wobble with the finishing line in sight, drawing with Reggina and Palermo before conceding two late goals in a 3-1 loss at home to closest challenger Roma. However, Inter clinched the title just four days later, with Materazzi netting both goals in a 2-1 win at Siena.

Serie A Player of the Year, Kaka

Roma’s Serie A season rather petered out, losing three of their final six matches, but they still finished as runners-up, albeit a whopping 22 points behind Inter - which was a record-breaking margin of victory for the Nerazzurri.

Lazio stumbled over the line but their third-placed finish was still a hugely creditable result for the Bianconcelesti, particularly as they’d begun the season with a three-point deduction.

Milan, meanwhile, managed to claim the fourth and final Champions League place despite starting the season on -8 points. However, the Rossoneri would have qualified anyway, after gaining sweet revenge over Liverpool by beating the Reds in the 2007 final in Athens, with Pippo Inzaghi netting twice.

AWARDS

PLAYER OF THE SEASON

KAKA

Despite a turbulent season at San Siro, the Brazilian actually managed to elevate his game to a whole other level, netting 18 goals in all competitions as he inspired AC Milan to Champions League glory.

MANAGER OF THE SEASON

LUCIANO SPALLETTI

The Roma boss retained his title in recognition of another fine season for Roma, who finished second in Serie A before beating Inter 7-4 on aggregate in the Coppa Italia final. Spalletti also drew the admiration of his peers for his innovative ‘striker-less’ formation that turned No.10 Francesco Totti into the most lethal marksman in Europe.

TOP GOALSCORER

FRANCESCO TOTTI - 26 GOALS

Spalletti’s decision to implement a 4-6-0 formation with the sole intention of getting the very best out of his captain worked wonders, with Totti scoring 26 times to not only claim the Capocannoniere award but also win the European Golden Shoe.

GOAL OF THE SEASON

Roma icon FRANCESCO TOTTI retained his goal of the season award with a stunning, left-footed volley from a frankly ridiculous angle that actually drew applause from the Sampdoria supporters at the Luigi Ferraris.

MOST EXPENSIVE TRANSFER

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Juventus to Inter

€24.8m

KEY MOMENT OF THE SEASON

Materazzi had just put Inter 4-1 up in their October derby with Milan when the volatile centre-half was sent off. Ancelotti’s side pulled two goals back in the closing stages but the Nerazzurri held on to claim a crucial victory. Indeed, that was the second of what turned out to be 17 successive wins for Mancini’s men.

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