Most thrilling Serie A title race was decided 20 years ago today

by | May 5, 2022 18:31

It was 20 years ago today that the Serie A season concluded with Inter, Juventus and Roma all in the running going into the final 90 minutes, but it was also the last Channel 4 coverage in Britain.

The date May 5, 2002 remains legendary for Italian football fans, as it saw Inter slide from the leadership to a third-place finish in a dramatic final day.

If the current Scudetto race looks tight, then think back to 2001-02, when going into the final 90 minutes there were Inter on 69 points, Juventus 68 and Roma 67.

Any of the three could still take the title, and Juve got their victory away to Udinese locked down within nine minutes with two goals, while Roma pushed Torino aside 1-0.

It was all decided at the Stadio Olimpico, where Inter had gone in front against a Lazio side with nothing left to play for and with the Biancocelesti supporters urging them to lose, therefore denying Roma even the slightest chance at the title.

Inter had taken the lead through Christian Vieri after 12 minutes, Karel Poborsky equalised and Luigi Di Biagio nodded in a corner for 2-1.

However, Vrarislav Gresko then had a nightmare that makes him still famous today among Inter fans, gifting Poborsky another goal before Diego Simeone’s header and a final goal for 4-2 scored by current Nerazzurri coach Simone Inzaghi.

19 Comments

  1. Eduardo VINCERE SENZA RUBARE

    I still remember crying as a kid back then, Lazio squad had real quality players back then.

  2. Khaled

    I watched live on Panasonic cube tv, the worst day in my football life. I still feel bad remembering it.

  3. Zambrotta

    Losers gotta lose. Lazio did have something to play for though. They needed to win to qualify for the UEFA cup. Poborsky was so appalled with his own fans that he quit the club that summer because of it. He finally realized what playing for a provincial side means.

  4. Juve

    Happy 5th of May to all Juventini of the world

  5. Yepe

    I remember that bad day and already forgotten it after Inter got a beautiful return during 2005 – 2010 campaign, including famous treble winner in 2010.

  6. Milanista

    Maybe Italy should bring back the 2 straineri rule. The Italian team was certainly better back then!

    Thoughts? Could it work in todays modern game?

    P.S. miss football italia and gazetta on Saturday morning. Such good memories.

  7. Ahmed Hossam

    Good point @Yepe considering Inter couldn’t win a title from 1989-2006 by merit. Now don’t start with the Juve thing as Milan and even Sampdoria, Lazio and Roma all won during that period.

  8. Alex

    May 5th 2022, one of the greatest day of calcio 😀

  9. Alex

    I mean 2002 😀

  10. Flavio Amado

    Interesting, I see the FI admin/crybaby deleted my post about Udinese player Pineda openly admitting that Udinese bent over and let juve beat them in 2002. Delete that comment too, but you can’t delete the truth.

  11. Flavio Amado

    @Ahmed Hossam

    Inter would have won in 98 but the league was fixed in juve’s favour back then. Thankfully Moggi was exposed, Disgraced and banned until he drops dead.

  12. Francesco

    5th of May also was the start of Inter‘s Road to the 2010 historic Treble, something no Italian club has achieved before or after. Much more important than just a Scudetto

  13. Flavio Amado

    Juve got their victory away to Udinese locked down within nine minutes with two goals

    Yes, very comfortably and easily with Udinese defenders watching. We know why after Pineda exposed the dirt

    In 2002, Udinese, who were already safe, had to play the last match against Juve, who needed to win by force. Cúper’s Inter lost in Rome against Lazio. Juventus won 2-0 with Udinese and became champion. I had played every game and that time I didn’t play. I didn’t want to make “ cookies”. A few days earlier, I said I was pulling a muscle and I didn’t play.

  14. Ravanelli

    @Flavio

    Maybe an Inter player would someday openly admit that they bent over and let Lazio beat them 4-2.

    If we’re lucky, a Torino player might also openly admit for bending over for Roma.

  15. Fatecisognare

    I’m glad you Interisti remember the treble. There’ll come a time when Interisti will remember it like 1966. Lol. Even Nottingham Forest were important once.

  16. Francesco

    @Fatecisognare

    Treble was certainly more recent than your team’s last CL. And the mention of Nottingham Forest is fitting, they have as many CLs as juve. Anyhow Inter‘s last trophy was in January 2022 not the 2010 Treble, daft comparison to England winning nothing since 1966.

  17. Flavio Amado

    @Ravanelli

    No, Lazio played with honor unlike Udinese. Perugia in 2000 also played honorably as I am sure you remember Calori…Now you know what is truly interesting? Udinese received a fake pk a week before at Lecce, which kept them up mathematically before playing juve. Surely coincidental. Nothing fishy at all.

  18. Ravanelli

    You got thoroughly beaten on the final day when it counts the most.

    You can keep blaming whoever you want. But at the end of the day, your club is the one that let it slip.

  19. Flavio Amado

    Sure, we lost fairly, but the team that ended up winning won suspiciously too..

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