'One cycle has closed but another one will open' - Pirlo vows Juve will be back to compete for Serie A title

Andrea Pirlo vowed Juventus would roar back to life next season after Inter Milan officially broke his side's nine-year Scudetto streak by clinching the title when Atalanta stumbled to a draw with Sassuolo on Sunday.

The first-year manager admitted the need for change and said hopefully that "one cycle has closed but another one will open". For now, however, his men must fight to earn Champions League qualification as they sit just two points clear of fifth-place Napoli.

Pirlo has been subjected to harsh criticism not only for his Serie A struggles, but also for a last-16 European exit at the hands of Porto.

What has been said?

“We give our regards to Inter and to the coach, they deserve this success," Pirlo told Sky Sport Italia. "We need to change, one cycle has closed but another one will open to complete for the Scudetto.

"We labored for this win and we're proud, it was important after this afternoon's results. Things were tricky when we allowed the goal, but we desparately wanted to bring home the result at the end."

"There was a mental fatigue. Something changes when you are used to always playing for the Scudetto. For the last several weeks the objective has changed: it's a struggle but we must achieve the Champions League.

"The team was strong and together, it had a will to fight for its objectives. Often the mentality and attitude were missing, but the team was united to make the Champions League. The hug at the end is the most important thing, this needs to be a starting point. We need to continue with this spirit, wins like this give you adrenaline to continue to fight."

Ronaldo lifts Juve amid top-four fight

Cristiano Ronaldo saved Juventus from further frustration Sunday when he reversed a 1-0 deficit vs Udinese with two goals in the final 10 minutes.

Without the late comeback, the Turin squad would have finished the weekend in fifth place behind Napoli.

Further reading