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Serie A Will Be Decided By A Play Off In Future

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Serie A Will Be Decided By A Play Off In Future

Serie A will decide it's title by a play off, if the top teams finish level on points, rather than using goal difference or head-to-head records.

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After nine years of Juventus reign at the top of Italy, the last two titles have been won by Inter Milan and AC Milan, respectively, with last season going down to the wire between the two Milan sides.

Going into the final day of the season the two sides were separated by just two points, meaning either team could have been crowned champions.

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Had Milan drawn and Inter won then the two teams would have ended on the same amount of points but Stefan Pioli's side would have come out on top, as they did any way, having beaten Simone Inzaghi's team back in February.

That's because, unlike the Premier League, Serie A decides positions on head-to-head, if teams finish level on points, but it won't be the case at the top.

The Italian football federation (FIGC) decided on Tuesday that from next season the title race will be decided by a 90 minute play-off, followed straight by penalties if the two teams are level, if points can't decide who the champions are.

Lower down the table positions will still be decided by who performed better over the two league games between two teams.

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Zlatan getting his hands on the Serie A trophy once again. Image: Alamy
Zlatan getting his hands on the Serie A trophy once again. Image: Alamy

Italy have previously decided championships, European places and relegation spots by play offs until the 2005/06 season, when things moved to head-to-head.

In 1964, Inter were actually on the losing end of a play off, as Bologna became Italian champions for the seventh time in their history, with a 2-0 win over the Nerazzurri in Rome.

The club also famously lost the title on the final day of the season in 2002, when they led the title race from Juventus going into Matchday 34.

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They lost to Lazio, whilst Juve and Roma both won their games, and ended up finishing third and missed out on their chance to be champions for the first time since 1989, perhaps making them one of football's most unlucky teams.

Milan players celebrate their win over Inter that meant they had the advantage in the title race. Image: Alamy
Milan players celebrate their win over Inter that meant they had the advantage in the title race. Image: Alamy

They will be hoping that their chances of reclaiming the title from city rivals AC will be boosted by the return of Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea, just one year after his 'ridiculous' £97.5 million move to west London.

Lukaku's goals fired Inter, under Antonio Conte, to their first title in 11 years, at the end of the 2020/21 campaign, and a loan spell back at the San Siro is expected to be successful, even if some fans haven't forgiven him for leaving in the first place.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Serie A, Italy, Inter Milan, Juventus, AC Milan, Napoli, AS Roma

Ryan Sidle
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