Inter Win Scudetto Away at AC Milan: Three Times Champions Were Crowned on Enemy Territory

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In the annals of football history, few moments are as sweet for the champions and as bitter for their rivals as winning a title away at the home of your fiercest competitors. Inter Milan’s recent triumph in clinching the Scudetto at the San Siro, not just any venue but the shared fortress with archrivals AC Milan, adds a dramatic chapter to the Derby della Madonnina. The Nerazzurri have been the dominant force in Serie A this season and before they clashed with their cross-city Rossoneri nemesis, they were a mighty 14 points clear at the division’s summit.

With just six games remaining, victory against Stefano Pioli’s men would have secured them the title and the opportunity to rub their success in the face of their greatest adversaries. It wasn’t an opportunity that they would pass up on. In a bad-tempered affair that saw three red cards brandished, Simone Inzaghi’s Inter managed to get the job done, with goals from Francesco Acerbi and Marcus Thurman giving them a two-goal lead.

The hosts managed to pull one back through Fikayo Tomori, which gave his side ten minutes to find an equalizer and halt their rivals’ coronation. But alas, the goal never came, and Inter ran out 2-1 victors and Italian champions, despite there still being five games of the Serie A season remaining.

Such a spectacle isn’t without precedent, however, and over the years, several clubs have had the unmatched pleasure of securing their league titles on the grounds of their arch-nemeses. Here’s a look back at three unforgettable instances where champions were crowned on enemy territory.

Arsenal at Old Trafford – 2002

The 2001/02 Premier League season was a testament to Arsenal’s resilience and flair under Arsène Wenger. The Gunners arrived at Old Trafford with the knowledge that a win against title rivals Manchester United would seal the championship. Since their iconic French boss’ arrival in North London in 1996, he had embarked on a bitter feud with Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson. The two regularly clashed both on the touchline and in the media, sparking one of the greatest rivalries the beautiful game has ever seen.

Things came to a head in May 2002 with a genuine six-pointer. in the penultimate game of the season, a Manchester United victory would draw them to within two points of their rivals with one game to play. For the Gunners, they knew that victory would secure the title and in a performance that combined tactical brilliance with sheer determination, they duly emerged victorious. French striker Sylvain Wltord scored the only goal of the game in its dying embers, sliding home after Fabien Barthez could only parry Freddie Ljungberg’s goal-bound effort.

Arsenal at White Hart Lane – 2004

Two years later the Gunners were at it again, this time at White Hart Lane, the home of their North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur. In what was a season for the ages, Arsenal were chasing an unbeaten league campaign, a feat that seemed the stuff of fantasy. Despite there being five games left of the season, Wenger’s men knew that a draw at the home of their greatest rivals was all that they needed to secure the title. They raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to first-half strikes from French duo Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires and it seemed that the crown was surely theirs.

The hosts came roaring back and managed to draw level, with Robbie Keane netting the all-important equalizer with a 94th-minute penalty. But on this occasion, the Gunners didn’t care one bit, and they secured the point they needed to be crowned champions. 20 years later, Arsenal haven’t won the Premier League since. This term, they are embroiled in a three-way title fight with Manchester City and Liverpool, and an online sports betting bookie currently makes them +400 second favorites behind the reigning champion Blues.

Barcelona’s 6-2 Win at Real Madrid – 2009

Under the stewardship of Pep Guardiola, Barcelona traveled to the Santiago Bernabéu to face a Real Madrid side desperate to halt their title march. Los Blancos had won their last 17 games on the spin and if they could defeat the Blaugrana they would move to within just one point of the league leaders with four games to play. And it looked as though exactly that may happen when Gonzalo Higuain gave them an early lead.

But what followed was not just a victory but a vicious beatdown as the Catalans dismantled their hosts. Thierry Henry and 21-year-old Lionel Messi both netted braces, while central defensive partners Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique also got their names on the scoresheet. The 6-2 victory was Barca’s biggest in El Clasico in 15 years as well as being the biggest margin of victory on enemy territory, and it all but secured the La Liga title.

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