Cristiano Ronaldo’s late goal wasn’t enough to help Juventus secure a point against Napoli, as they claimed a 2-1 Serie A victory over Juventus at San Paolo on Sunday evening.
Napoli stun Juve at San Paolo
Due to Napoli’s defensive troubles, Maurizio Sarri opted for the iconic attacking trio of Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo in order to expose their weaknesses. However, the first opening 20 minutes of the game saw both teams try and create their own rhythm, and chances were few and far between for both sides. Bonucci had charged down an effort by Milik, while Dybala was closed down by Mario Rui on the edge of the box after he ran down the middle.
The second half started in disappointment for Pjanic, as he was forced into an early substitution due to injury, seeing him replaced by Rabiot with 49th minutes on the clock. The Bianconeri had the ball in the back of the net in the 54th minute, when Dybala hit the post: the rebound fell for Ronaldo who fired at goal, but it was ruled out for offside. Zielinski then tested his luck moments later with a powerful effort that he curled just over the face of goal. Higuain got onto the receiving end of Ronaldo’s long pass and fired an angled drive at Meret, who dropped and made the save. That then sparked a counter-attack by Napoli and they took the lead just after the hour mark. Insigne fired in a scorcher at goal which Szczesny punched away, but the rebound fell to the feet of Zielinski, who slotted it past Tek.
Sarri then opted to utilize his final two changes by bringing on Douglas Costa and Bernardeschi in place of Matuidi and Dybala in the 72nd minute. Juventus continued to go in search of an equalizing goal, but Gattuso’s Napoli frustrated the Bianconeri, and they doubled their lead in the 86th minute through Insigne, who smacked home a volley from Milik’s cross. Ronaldo managed to pull a goal back when he got onto the end of a long ball and flick it in at the bottom of the near post to see the game end 2-1 in favour of the hosts.
Napoli: Meret; Hysaj, Manolas, Di Lorenzo, Mario Rui; Fabian Ruiz, Demme, Zielinski; Callejon, Milik, Insigne
Substitutes: Karnezis, Daniele, Luperto, Maksimovic, Elmas, Lobotka, Llorente, Lozano, Leandrinho
Juventus: Szczesny; Cuadrado, De Ligt, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic (Rabiot 49’), Matuidi (Douglas Costa 72’); Dybala (Bernardeschi 72’), Higuain, Ronaldo
Substitutes: Pinsoglio, Buffon, Ramsey, Douglas Costa, Rugani, Rabiot, Bernardeschi, Coccolo