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Serie A

  • May 22, 2011
  • • 2:45 PM
  • • Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, Torino
  • Referee: N. Rizzoli
  • • Attendance: 22000


Juventus 2-2 Napoli: Visitors put an end to Bianconeri's European hopes

Juventus 2-2 Napoli: Visitors put an end to Bianconeri's European hopes

Despite equalizing twice, the Bianconeri couldn't collect the three points they needed to stay in with a chance of European football next season.

Juventus' miserable Serie A season ended with a spirited 2-2 draw against Napoli at the Olimpico, but it was ultimately not enough for the club to qualify for next season's Europa League.

Goals from Christian Maggio and Cristiano Lucarelli twice put the visitors ahead, but Juve pegged it back with second half goals from Giorgio Chiellini and Alessandro Matri.

The result ends an era in Turin as coach Luigi Del Neri moves on to allow Antonio Conte to step in, while the club also leaves the Olimpico after five years.

Juve could have had the lead early on when Alessandro Del Piero left Morgan De Sanctis standing but saw his effort hit the top of the bar. Moments later Lucarelli’s close range header brought the very best out of Gianluigi Buffon, with the Italy skipper producing a magnificent reaction stop from all of six yards.

Napoli opened the scoring soon after when Jose Sosa’s cross from the right found Christian Maggio in space at the back post, and the right back headed coolly across Buffon into the far corner to give his side the lead.

Del Piero twice came close to equalizing before the break for the Old Lady. He brought a rushed save out of De Sanctis with a 25-yard scorcher before striking the woodwork for a second time with a trademark free kick from the left of goal.

But it would take Juventus until after the break to draw level. Luca Toni got up to a right wing corner, and, when De Sanctis could only parry, Giorgio Chiellini was on hand to tap home the rebound.

The Partenopei regained the lead with 20 minutes remaining, though, as Lucarelli reacted quickest to a left wing corner, sending his header off the inside of the far post and just over the line.

Del Neri reacted by throwing on Alessandro Matri for Toni, and the move paid dividends on 84 minutes. Alberto Aquilani played a slide rule pass through for Matri, whose low shot had enough pace on it to escape under the body of De Sanctis and into the net.

The draw means that Juventus will move to the Delle Alpi with no European fixtures to play next season, with new boss Antonio Conte well aware of the big job he has in hand. Meanwhile, for Napoli, its spot in the 2011-12 Champions League was already secure.

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