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2 vs 0
Played
October 20, 2012 12:00 PM EDT
Juventus Stadium — Torino
Referee:‬ A. Damato‎
Attendance:‬ 41000‎
 
 
82′ Paul Pogba
 
Top of the Match
Martín Cáceres
Martín Cáceres
Juventus
Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba
Juventus
Flop of the Match
Goran Pandev
Goran Pandev
Napoli
Goran Pandev
Goran Pandev
Napoli

Juventus 2-0 Napoli: Caceres & Pogba send champion clear at Serie A summit

The Bianconeri struggled badly to break down an obdurate Partenopei side, but they secured three precious points in the closing stages thanks to two of their substitutes

By Mark Doyle

Juventus moved three points clear of Napoli at the top of Serie A by striking late to claim a vital 2-0 victory over its Scudetto rival.

The Bianconeri had the better of a disappointing encounter in terms of possession and territory, but they struggled to create any clear-cut chances and it was Napoli which came closest to opening the scoring during the first half, with forward Edinson Cavani hitting the crossbar with a free kick.

However, the host eventually made the breakthrough with 10 minutes to go when Martin Caceres headed home an Andrea Pirlo corner just moments after being sprung from the bench. Fellow substitute Paul Pogba repeated the feat just moments later with a terrific volley to ensure that Napoli would leave Turin empty handed and give the Bianconeri the initiative in this season's title race.

Juventus had begun the game like it meant business, with Sebastian Giovinco testing Morgan De Sanctis with a low strike inside the opening 60 seconds.

However, the visitor was in no mood to be bullied. On the contrary, Napoli seemed intent on roughing the Bianconeri up in the early stages, a tactic which resulted in the concession of a succession of free kicks, as well as several theatrical falls from the clearly ruffled Juve players.

Indeed, after weathering what was a very early storm, Napoli settled and came agonizingly close to taking the lead midway through the first half when Cavani struck the top of the crossbar with a curling free kick from a ridiculously acute angle wide on the left.

As it was, the two sides were still deadlocked at the interval, a well-struck drive from Claudio Marchisio right on halftime the only other effort of note an ill-tempered, underwhelming and largely incident-free opening 45 minutes.

Juve continued to dominate possession in the second half, but to little effect. However, Giovinco really should have ended the stalemate 10 minutes into the second half when the ball dropped invitingly for him in the area after he himself had miscued a low cross from Kwadwo Asamoah. However, after shifting it onto his right foot, the former Parma man fired wide.

For the most part, Juventus was still struggling to pry open the Napoli defense, but Pirlo did just that midway through the second half with a sublime pass over the top. However, Alessandro Matri, just on as a replacement for the ineffective Fabio Quagliarella, failed dismally to control the ball and it bounced harmlessly into the grateful arms of De Sanctis.

Caceres, though, would not be so profligate when he was presented with the chance to be the hero, the versatile defender timing his arrival into the six-yard box to perfection before burying Pirlo's corner past a helpless De Sanctis.

Not to be outdone, Pogba, who had taken over in midfield from the subdued Arturo Vidal, made the points safe when he demonstrated wonderful technique in finding the bottom corner with a controlled volley from the edge of the area just three minutes later.

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Juventus

30
Marco Storari
Goalkeeper
3.50
15
Andrea Barzagli
Defender
74′
3.50
3
3.50
19
3.00
26
3.00
23
Arturo Vidal
Midfielder
30′ 75′
2.50
8
Claudio Marchisio
Midfielder
4.50
21
Andrea Pirlo
Midfielder
80′
3.50
22
Kwadwo Asamoah
Midfielder
78′
4.50
12
3.50
27
3.00

Napoli

3.50
26
3.50
14
3.50
-
3.00
5
3.50
11
3.00
88
Gökhan Inler
Midfielder
90′
3.50
17
Marek Hamsik
Midfielder
3.50
18
3.00
85
Valon Behrami
Midfielder
87′
3.50
9
1.50
19

Substitutes

31
 - 
34
Rubinho
Goalkeeper
 - 
33
Lúcio
Defender
 - 
4
4.50
6
Paul Pogba
Midfielder
75′ 82′
4.50
20
Simone Padoin
Midfielder
 - 
23
 - 
33
Mauricio Isla
Midfielder
 - 
8
Luca Marrone
Midfielder
 - 
23
 - 
32
2.50

Substitutes

 - 
15
 - 
22
Antonio Rosati
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
 - 
3
Bruno Uvini
Defender
 - 
-
 - 
3
 - 
21
 - 
30
Marco Donadel
Midfielder
 - 
16
3.00
20
 - 
-
Edu Vargas
Striker
3.00
24

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Ciro Immobile Ciro Immobile
Striker
Torino
20 0
Luca Toni Luca Toni
Striker
Hellas Verona
18 2
Carlos Tévez Carlos Tévez
Striker
Juventus
18 1
Gonzalo Higuaín Gonzalo Higuaín
Striker
Napoli
17 5
Rodrigo Palacio Rodrigo Palacio
Striker
Inter
15 0