Serie A | Juventus back on top after 1-0 win against wasteful Napoli

Juventus’ Federico Gatti scores during the Serie A match between Juventus and Napoli, at the Allianz stadium in Turin, Italy, on December 8, 2023.
| Photo Credit: AP

Juventus delivered an efficient performance as they moved back to provisional top spot in Serie A on Friday, securing a 1-0 home win against a wasteful Napoli thanks to a header from Federico Gatti.

Six minutes into the second half, Juve broke the deadlock when Gatti collected an Andrea Cambiaso cross at the back post, outjumping his marker to head it into the back of the net.

Napoli had numerous opportunities but Khvicha Kvaratskhelia missed a huge chance, while Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny made several saves to thwart the visitors’ clear scoring chances.

Juve top the standings with 36 points, one ahead of Inter Milan who host lowly Udinese on Saturday.

For Napoli, the match highlighted their struggling form, marking three consecutive defeats across all competitions for Walter Mazzarri’s side. They are fifth with 24 points.

Napoli’s intense start saw them creating several early chances, with Giovanni Di Lorenzo denied by Szczesny’s goal-line save and Matteo Politano narrowly missing the post moments later.

Juve had their best chance of the first half when Dusan Vlahovic’s close-range attempt was blocked by Natan, and Weston McKennie’s subsequent rebound with an overhead kick was denied by Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret.

Just before the half-hour mark, Kvaratskhelia found himself alone with Szczesny inside the box after being set free by Victor Osimhen. However, the Georgian winger sent the ball over the bar, much to the surprise and relief of the home fans, and causing visible frustration for Mazzarri.

Napoli’s difficulties in front of the goal continued when Di Lorenzo struck a powerful shot from close range just before the break, only to be denied by Szczesny’s exceptional diving save.

After Gatti’s goal, Napoli’s momentum dropped and they struggled to create chances or mount an offensive to equalise.

Osimhen put the ball into the net for Napoli after Szczesny’s pass was intercepted and knocked back to the Nigerian, but the offside flag was raised.

Source website: www.thehindu.com

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