Juventus and Napoli are two teams that are projected each season to fight for the Serie A league title. On Saturday, the two met in Turin for the first of two league match-ups this 2016-17 season. Juventus have started off 8-0-2 in the league, while Napoli were 6-2-2. Napoli were coming into the match in good form after back-to-back league wins over Crotone and Empoli respecitvely. Juventus bounced back midweek with a 4-1 win over Sampdoria after falling to Milan a week ago 1-0 away from home.
Both managers started attacking starting lineups in hopes to win the match from the get-go. After a scoreless first half, that saw a combined two shots on target, Juventus took the lead five minutes into the second half. Defender Leonardo Bonucci smashed home an opening goal from the center of the box to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
Four minutes later, Napoli equalized as winger Jose Callejon slotted home Lorenzo Insigne‘s cross to make it 1-1. It was the Spaniard’s seventh league goal of the campaign.
Juventus tried hard to get a winner and eventually it came in the 70th minute. Former Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain put Juventus in front for good after finishing nicely from inside the box with his left foot. The Argentine has seven goals in 11 Serie A matches with Juventus after netting 36 for Napoli a year ago.
Napoli fought hard for a second equalizer but failed to break down the tough Juventus back-line. Insigne had the best chance to draw the visitors even but shot over from close range in the final minutes. At the final whistle, Juventus earned a tough three points at home to remain at the top of the Serie A table.
The hosts held the edge in possession 51%-49% but only had three shots-on-target out of 10 in total. Napoli had 12 shots in the match, but only forced a single save out of Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
It wasn’t the most dominating performance by either side but it sure was a top clash between two of the best Italian sides. Juventus will host French-side Lyon on Wednesday in the UCL before traveling to Chievo Verona next Sunday in Serie A play.
Napoli will look to bounce back in the UCL on Tuesday as they face Turkish-outfit Besiktas away from home. They return to Serie A play next Saturday with a home fixture vs Lazio at the San Paolo.
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