Juventus
    Juventus
      27.12.2016 10:30 - in: The team S

      2016 Review: Bianconeri reclaim Serie A summit

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      Part two of our look back over the past 12 months starts with all-important home victory over Napoli and ends with a memorable away derby...

      It's the 88th minute of Juventus v Napoli on 13 February 2016 and the sides are still locked together at 0-0. It's been an edgy, evenly matched encounter and if it remains goalless Napoli will leave Turin unbeaten and stay top of the Serie A pile.

      Cue Simone Zaza...

      It was a big, big goal. We might even call it the Scudetto goal as it enabled Juve to leapfrog Napoli at the summit – and there we would remain.

      There were more thrills to come in February, though. After a 0-0 draw at Bologna, the Bianconeri hosted Bayern Munich at Juventus Stadium for what was a highly anticipated Champions League clash.

      This was a match both the team and the Juve faithful were really up for...

      Unfortunately, things didn't go to plan in the first half and we went in at the break trailing to goals by Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben. The real Juve emerged after the restart and quickly set about making amends.

      Paulo Dybala's goal got the comeback started...

      ...then Stefano Sturaro restored parity in the 76th minute.

      The Bianconeri would face off against Inter twice in the space of five days at the end of February and the beginning of March.

      Juve won the league fixture on Sunday 28 February 2-0 with Leo Bonucci and Alvaro Morata grabbing the goals.

      The following Thursday, the Bianconeri almost suffered a shock turnaround in the return leg of the Coppa Italia semis, as their 3-0 first-leg advantage was cancelled out in normal time.

      However, Massimiliano Allegri's men triumphed in a penalty shootout to book their place in the final for the second year running. Back in the league, Juve knocked out another two wins with two clean sheets and three goals between 6 and 11 March:

      Then on 16 March Juventus travelled to Munich for the return leg of our Champions League round-of-16 contest and this time the first half was a complete reversal of what happened in Turin.

      Juve utterly dominated the opening period with a scintillating display of football as early goals by Paul Pogba and Juan Cuadrado had the German champions on the ropes.

      A third goal would almost certainly have put the tie to bed but it wouldn't come for Juve. Bayern pulled one back in the 73rd minute through Robert Lewandowski before Muller snatched an injury-time equaliser.

      The Bianconeri ran out of steam after that and came undone in extra time. Strikes by Thiago Alcantara and Kingsley Coman made it a bitter end to our European campaign but, if nothing else, the game reaffirmed Juve's status as one of Europe's top sides.

      The Bianconeri had the chance to reiterate their domestic – and local –supremacy a few days later when they travelled to Torino for the Derby della Mole – a tricky encounter at the best of times, and an even greater test of nerve with European disappointment still fresh in their minds.

      Juve of course stepped up to the plate to round off the month of March in exhilarating fashion. In case you missed it, we won't spoil the surprise for you. Just sit back and enjoy these highlights...

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