Vito Doria Date: 14th November 2018 at 9:08am
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Although Bologna led the early stages of the title race and Juventus provided a fight during the campaign, Torino eventually maintained their hegemony in Italian football in the 1946/47 Serie A season as they went on to win a third consecutive league title.

It was a return to the promotion-relegation formation after the combined Serie A-B Championship in 1945/46, which was won by the Granata, and they had won the Scudetto in 1942/43 before World War II brought the competition to a halt.

If Torino winning the scudetto brought a sense of predictability to the league, there were a number of teams that surprised throughout the campaign. Modena finished third with 51 points from 38 games, Vicenza shared fifth place with Bologna on 39 points, and Bari from southern Italy finished seventh with 38.

The Canarini finishing third with a squad consisting of players from the lower divisions of Italy as well as footballers with limited experience was the most remarkable achievement of the lot.

Coach Alfredo Mazzoni created a hard-working team that relied on counter-attacks to score and applied methods similar to the catenaccio tactic perfected by the likes of Nereo Rocco and Helenio Herrera in later years. Modena also had the best defence in the division, conceding just 24 goals.

Bari had the second-worst attack in the league with just 33 goals scored but they won many close games. They also had a goal difference of -15 due to some heavy defeats suffered during the campaign.

There was also the introduction of the new club with Sampdoria being formed on August 12, 1946 after a merger between Genovese clubs Andrea Doria and Sampierdarenese. The new entity finished equal 10th with three other clubs and centre-forward Giuseppe Baldini finished fifth in the goalscoring charts with 18 goals.

Torino started the campaign unconvincingly with a 1-1 draw against Triestina while Bologna earned a 4-0 victory against Venezia. The Felsinei held onto top spot in the league until Round 12, when Bari defeated them 1-0, and that allowed Juventus to take first place after they won 4-1 against Inter.

It did not last long for the Bianconeri as they lost 1-0 to Modena in the following week while Torino demolished Fiorentina 7-2 and the Granata gained the outright lead in the title race. Juve drew level in Round 17 after they secured a 7-3 victory against Venezia whereas Toro lost 2-0 to Alessandria and La Vecchia Signora were outright leaders in Rounds 19 and 20.

Juventus lost their place on top of the table in Round 21 after they suffered a 2-0 defeat of their own to Alessandria and Torino capitalised with a 5-1 demolition of Lazio. From there, the Granata did not squander their lead and they sealed their fourth scudetto in Round 35 with a 0-0 draw against Bari.

Known as Il Grande Torino, this team finished the season with 63 points – two points for a victory – in 38 games and they had scored an incredible 104 goals for the season, including 29 from captain and superstar forward Valentino Mazzola. He was also the Serie A leading goalscorer for that year and he had scored eight more than his nearest rival Ettore Puricelli from AC Milan.

Tragically the Torino squad would perish in the Superga air disaster in May 1949 but at the end of the 1946/47 season, it seemed that nothing could stop the Granata’s dominance of Italian football.

City rivals Juventus finished second and 10 points behind Il Toro but they unearthed a new forward called Giampiero Boniperti, who scored five goals in just six games. He would go on to score 178 goals in 443 Serie A matches for the Bianconeri and later went on to become club president.

It was a tough season for the Milanese clubs with AC Milan finishing fourth and Inter a disappointing 10th. The Rossoneri scored 75 goals but their defence was leaky as it shipped 52 while the Nerazzurri scored 59 and conceded 54. This prompted both clubs to acquire more star forwards in the following seasons.

Triestina finished on the bottom of the league but they were reinstated for the 1947/48 campaign on compassionate grounds due to Anglo-American troops occupying Trieste and the club had trouble playing matches at their home stadium.