Inter Milan 3-0 Sampdoria: Nerazzurri's Scudetto reign comes to an end
Inter Milan's reign as Serie A champions came to an end on Sunday despite rounding off their campaign with a resounding 3-0 victory over Sampdoria at San Siro.
The Nerazzurri needed to beat Sampdoria on the final day and hope AC Milan lost against Sassuolo if they were to pip their fierce rivals to top spot.
Inter completed their half of the bargain thanks to a couple of goals for Joaquin Correa after Ivan Perisic had opened the scoring early in the second half.
But it did not matter as Milan were three goals up at half-time against Sassuolo and protected that advantage for a 3-0 win, meaning they – and not Inter – were crowned champions of Italy.
At least three goals had been scored in the previous six league meetings between Inter and Sampdoria, but neither side could find a way through in a relatively low-key first half.
Lautaro Martinez grazed the outside of the post with a header and was thwarted by Emil Audero from the best of Inter's opportunities.
The Inter striker was denied again by Audero after the restart, although Simone Inzaghi's side soon found their groove.
In what could be his final game for the club ahead of his contract expiring next month, Perisic picked out the far corner four minutes into the second half to give his side lift-off.
Correa swept in a first-time finish to double Inter's lead, and the Argentina international added another on the turn two minutes later to completely kill off the contest.
Perisic was carried off on a stretcher after sustaining an injury in the build-up to that third goal, which proved to be the last of the meaningful action on the day Inter's spell as top dogs in Italy officially came to an end.
What does it mean? Inter fall just short
This was the first occasion the Scudetto was decided in the final round of fixtures since 2009-10, when Inter finished just ahead of Roma in their famous treble-winning campaign.
Unlike on that occasion, the Nerazzurri's fate was not in their own hands on Sunday, and an Olivier Giroud-inspired Milan showed no signs of nerves in their win at Sassuolo.
For only the second time in seven such instances in the three-points-per-win era, Inter have missed out on top spot despite registering more than 80 points.
Creative forces shine again
Hakan Calhanoglu and Nicolo Barella claimed an assist each and both have 12 for the season in Serie A – the most an Inter player has supplied in the competition in a single season since Opta first started recording such data in 2004-05.
All 12 of Barella's assists came from open play, which is level with RB Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku – who has primarily been deployed as a forward – as the most of any midfielder in Europe's top five leagues this season.
Ivan the great
Perisic has been strongly linked with a move away from Inter and marked what could be his final outing at San Siro with his eighth Serie A goal of the campaign, double the number he managed last season.
The Croatia international had to be taken off the pitch on a stretcher following an innocuous challenge, but he was later seen walking around the field freely as part of Inter's lap of honour.