Gonzalo Higuain had a (bandaged) hand in proceedings as Juventus stifled Napoli’s assault to take a useful Zero-1 win on the Stadio San Paolo on Friday evening, and transfer the Outdated Girl to inside a single level of their opposition on the Serie A summit.
The conflict between the 2 title rivals was deemed so necessary to the followers that the one of the city’s most beloved TV shows ‘Gomorrah’ was released early so fans could watch both events.
Raul Albiol’s return within the centre of the defence was the one change for Napoli from the facet that beat Udinese final weekend, whereas Mattia De Sciglio got here in for the injured Stephan L
Based on @unfair_play, the sport between Napoli and Juventus is already out there on SKY ‘On Demand’ for many who do not need to miss Gomorrah tonight.
— The whole lot Napoli (@NaplesAndNapoli) December 1, 2017
The most important shock of the staff sheets, nonetheless, was the inclusion of Gonzalo Higuain, who had been anticipated to overlook the sport after his hand surgical procedure earlier within the week.
The eyebrow elevating inclusion of the most unwelcome man within the Stadio San Paolo virtually acquired the sport off to an ideal begin for the guests inside 5 minutes, however Higuain’s dink after beating the offside lure was blocked by Pepe Reina.
Nonetheless, the hosts’ nightmare state of affairs was solely briefly averted, as Higuain did discover the online after 12 minutes when Juve sprung a devastating counter assault. Paulo Dybala’s driving run and thru ball break up Napoli’s usually air tight again line, with stand in left again Mario Rui caught out, and Higuain made no mistake along with his second likelihood at objective at his outdated searching floor.
Nonetheless, Napoli’s greatest likelihood to stage within the half got here from the ensuing nook with 5ft 4in Insigne stealing between the suspect zonal marking of Miralem Pjanic and De Sciglio to energy a header at Buffon, which the 39-year-old veteran was equal to.
Juventus had not saved a clear sheet on the Stadio San Paolo in Serie A since 1997, and Napoli started the second half determined to proceed that 20-year run.
Jose Callejon swung a shot inches extensive of Buffon’s far publish lower than 10 minutes after the restart however, very similar to the primary 45, Napoli have been steadily pressured out extensive with Insigne and Dries Mertens restricted to speculative half probabilities and crosses from exterior their consolation zones.
The house assist have been briefly outraged on the referee’
Admittedly I have not watched each minute of this match, however all I’ve seen Napoli do is cross the ball within the air. Two of their ahead gamers are Dries Mertens & Lorenzo Insigne.
Suppose I do know why they have not scored. #NapoliJuve
— Scott Saunders (@_scottsaunders) December 1, 2017
Whereas Napoli laboured to create real scoring alternatives towards a resolute Juve defence, Massimiiano Allegri’s facet might need doubled their lead by way of Blaise Matuidi, whose highly effective volley from lower than 10 yards out was by some means turned over the bar by an alert Reina.
Issues went from irritating to down proper miserable for Napoli when, after a collision with Buffon, talisman Insigne was pressured off with a knock with simply 15 minutes to go. 21-year Algeria worldwide Adam Ounas, who had performed simply 57 Serie A minutes previous to this sport, got here on as his substitute.
After a entertaining begin to the second half, Juventus’ stellar defensive show ensured essentially the most anticipated conflict of the season thus far ended with a whimper as Napoli failed to search out a gap for what would have been their 36th league objective of the season.
Juventus’ fifth away win of the season takes them as much as second, at the least till Inter play on Sunday, and to inside a single level of Napoli.
Earlier than the sport voices from each groups have been fast to insist that this sport wouldn’t be a title decider. Nonetheless, now the match is over, how Sarri’s Scudetto-chasing facet react to their first home defeat of the season could come to outline their marketing campaign.