Juventus
    30.10.2016 12:00 - in: Serie A S

    #JuveNapoli: five talking points

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    Gonzalo Higuain’s heroics and Leonardo Bonucci’s latest big-match strike topline the five talking points to emerge from Juventus’ 2-1 win over Napoli
    Higuain the hero

    Following Gonzalo Higuain’s summer switch from Naples to Turin during the summer, yesterday’s fixture, besides seeing the Bianconeri lock horns with one of their major title rivals in Napoli, stood out even more for the intriguing sub-plot of pitting Juve’s club record signing against the side for whom he scored 91 times in three years.

    And Pipita’s clinical left-footed strike into the bottom corner – his seventh league goal of the campaign and eighth in all competitions – is the latest proof of why the Old Lady were so keen to secure his services.

    In close competition with his winner against Fiorentina on Matchday One, this was Pipita’s most important strike of the season so far and one which saved the day in especially emotional circumstances to keep Juve top of the table at the end of October.

    Big game Bonny

    Leonardo Bonucci quite simply has a knack of scoring in the big games. His 50th-minute goal saw Napoli join a list of illustrious Serie A clubs to fall foul of Bonny’s ability to rise to the important occasions. 

    Roma, Milan, Inter, Fiorentina, Lazio and now the Partenopei all count among the 29-year-old’s victims. Furthermore, whenever Bonucci has found the net in the league, Juve have gone on to secure all three points.

    For all of his exploits in front of goal, it’s easy to lose sight of another dominant defensive display in which he made a team-high three blocks and match-high four interceptions.

    Cuadrado quality

    After providing two assists in Wednesday’s win against Sampdoria, Juan Cuadrado was a constant menace once more last night.

    In a match where clear scoring opportunities were few and far between, the Colombian’s pace, trickery and accurate crossing saw him create a match-high three chances on goal.

    After providing two assists in Wednesday’s win against Sampdoria, Juan Cuadrado was a constant menace once more last night.

    In a match where clear scoring opportunities were few and far between, the Colombian’s pace, trickery and accurate crossing saw him create a match-high three chances on goal.

    Substitutions spot on

    This point overlaps with the previous one, given Cuadrado’s considerable impact from the bench, and the Colombian’s star performances in recent weeks are not the only reason why Massimiliano Allegri deserves credit for the way he is managing his options at present.

    The Tuscan tactician stayed true to his word when he warned against rushing Claudio Marchisio back into the thick of the action too quickly and duly opted to hand Hernanes a starting berth in the holding midfield role – one which the Brazilian has excelled in of late – before introducing Marchisio in the 68th minute.

    Coincidental or not, Juve were back in front just moments after the Prince had taken to the pitch, but his composure and metronomic passing, combined with the grit and brawn of fellow second-half substitute Stefano Sturaro, certainly helped to ensure that the Bianconeri wouldn’t throw away the lead for a second time in the match. Indeed, they did not.

    Unstoppable Alex Sandro

    For a man that doesn’t appear to know the meaning of a below-par performance, it was unsurprising to see Alex Sandro put in another solid display last night. The Brazilian played a team-high 89 passes, 28 of which in the opposition half – more than any other Bianconeri team-mate.

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