AC Milan wrapped up their first Serie A title since 2011 in style, courtesy of three first-half goals at the Mapei against giant-killers Sassuolo. Inter Milan, meanwhile, matched their rivals’ result but could only finish second – two points behind the Rossoneri.
AC Milan faced a daunting visit to Sassuolo for their final, title-deciding, clash of the season. Alessio Dionisi’s side, who had beaten Inter, Juventus, Lazio, ACF Fiorentina, and even the Rossoneri themselves earlier in the campaign. But, AC Milan raced out of the blocks with intent, pinning the home side inside their half and forcing Andrea Consigli and his defence into some last-ditch saves early on.
Milan broke the deadlock and eased the nerves in the away end in the 17th minute. Rafael Leao, who would be named Serie A’s MVP later in the evening, found space to play with on the left and laid the ball on the plate for Olivier Giroud for the finish.
The Frenchman hit the net the first time of asking, squeezing the ball through the legs of Giacomo Ferrari and Consigli. The same combination struck again for what was the insurance goal for the would-be champions. Leao, down by the byline, pulled the ball back for his towering centre-forward partner, and with a sweep of his foot, Giroud directed the ball away from the goalkeeper and into the net.
There was still time before the interval for Franck Kessie to score a farewell goal – the Ivorian will be on his way to Barcelona this summer. The midfielder timed his run to perfection and met another Leao cross in the centre of the box before guiding it past Consigli. With the title wrapped up within 36 minutes – their 19th overall and first in 11 years – the Rossoneri sat back and cruised through the remainder of the evening.
Last season’s champions Inter gave their rivals a fight till the death, but in the end, fell two points short of retaining the title. They even matched Milan’s result at the San Siro against Sampdoria, scoring thrice within eight second-half minutes, but dropped points in big games throughout the season ended up being their downfall.