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Italy - Serie A
October 20, 2012
• Juventus Stadium, Torino
Referee: A. Damato
• Attendance: 41000
M. Cáceres 80'
P. Pogba 82'
That's it from me folks! Feel free to fire any post-match comments you have at me on Twitter, @Miles_Chambers, and make sure you stick around for all the reaction to this crucial win for Juventus and crushing defeat for Napoli. Ciao!
The full-time whistle blows and Juventus have won this game thanks to two goals from substitutes in the final 10 minutes! First Caceres put them ahead from a Pirlo corner, then summer signing from Manchester United Paul Pogba added the most sublime icing onto the proverbial cake with his volley.
90' + 5'
Napoli applying late pressure. And no, this isn't one of those times when you can say 'better late than never'.
90' + 3'
You have to admit, this squad have an admirable never-say-die attitude, and this win will take their unbeaten Serie A streak to 47 games I believe. What a run. When will it end?!
90' + 2'
Richard wilson tweeted his views on this Juve team: "Such a incredible team. This is the team that I always love, Juve is a team that fight for last second and never give up."
90' + 1'
Four minutes of added time in the Juventus Stadium.
Yellow Card Gökhan Inler
Juventus have another chance on the right edge of the 18-yard box, thanks to Napoli's Inler who pulled Pogba to the ground.
Napoli are pressing for a goal or (could it be?!) two. At the moment they're restricted to corners and speculative crosses though.
Talk about a quick turnaround! This game has gone from a tense draw to an almost nailed-on win for Juve. Two subs turned this game on its head, but you have to give credit to the players who have played the whole match - they're the ones who have worn the visitors down and made sure Napoli are getting tired.
Goal Paul Pogba
GOAL!! Paul Pogba - take a bow!! Incredible first-time volley on his left foot from 25 yards out, and it's another excellent substitution!! Juventus 2-0 Napoli now and surely that is game over?!
Yellow Card Martín Cáceres
Assist Andrea Pirlo
Goal Martín Cáceres
GOAL!! Martin Caceres nods in to give Juventus a 1-0 lead! A great sub from the coach and the home side have the lead over Napoli!
Pandev and Chiellini have been all over each other all match so far! The defender fouls the attacker this time, and it's a Napoli free-kick 50-odd yards from goal.
Napoli have been pressing tentatively for a minute or so now and the period of possession ends with a dramatic Cavani volley on the edge of the box which flies over.
Nicklas Bendtner politely applauds the home fans as he warms up on the sidelines. Will he make an appearance for the Bianconeri tonight?
Yellow Card Andrea Barzagli
Barzagli gets a yellow card for a poorly timed challenge on Inler along Napoli's left wing. He knew what he was doing - in fact, was that a hint of a smirk as he walked away?! Cheeky.
Giovinco is going to ground on a regular basis, but in fairness to him, he is getting really clattered by every man and their dog!
A perfect tackle from Christian Maggio when Juventus charge forwards on the counter. What Asamoah is rolling about for I have no idea. Actually, I do, he want a belated free-kick, but the referee was not fooled by the theatrics.
A peach of a ball from Pirlo and Juve could have been ahead! From beyond the halfway line, the Italian veteran midfielder launches a perfect ball for Matri but the striker cannot connect with his first touch, and De Sanctis comes out to collect the high-bouncing ball. Juventus Stadium's inhabitants let out yet another groan.
Yellow Card Hugo Campagnaro
Yellow Card Giorgio Chiellini
Campagnaro and Chiellini getting into some silly handbags after a Juve corner. The Juve defender grabbed the ball after the referee gave a Napoli free-kick, then the opposition player decided the best course of action was to try and jump on his back! Just plain silly from both footballers.
I tend to agree here with Simon Heimen, who says: "This match is a battle of stamina. It remains to be seen if either side is capable of grinding the other down." The reason I agree? Both sides have ferocious counterattacking ability. If one side tire too soon, counterattacking will become even more dangerous.
Asamoah smells glory and lashes a loose ball over from 20 yards on the left edge of the box with his first touch. A silly decision from the winger, who had options to his right.
Quagliarella off, Alessandro Matri on. Can the change give Juve a fighting chance of getting a winner in this closely-fought clash?
Daniel Ikechukwu writes on Twitter: "I believe in Juve and they will make me [happy] by winning [over] Napoli by two nil." You can also get in touch on by tweeting @Miles_Chambers.
Giovinco, Giovinco, Giovinco. How did you miss that one?! The Juventus forward is given way too much time in the box 10 yards from goal and has a superb chance to at least force a save from De Sanctis, but instead the Italy international skews his shot a few feet wide of the right post. Gasps and moans echo around the Bianconeri's home ground.
Hamsik slots Pandev through on the right, but the midfielder's pass forwards to his Azzurri teammate is met with too strong a touch and Juventus keeper Marco Storari - in for the injured Gianluigi Buffon - can come out and pounce on the ball.
Giovinco is down after a tough tackle from Behrami on the edge of the Napoli box. Nothing particularly wrong with the challenge, but it was quite physical so the small striker being on the floor for a couple of minutes isn't that shocking.
The midfield is opening up in this match as the teams slowly take more attacking risks in a bid to get that first goal of the game.
Pirlo with a free-kick from 30 yards...ooo, it very nearly bobbles in after taking a deflection off the wall. However, the connection took the sting out of the shot and De Sanctis has time to readjust his feet and dive to his left to smother the ball.
Asamoah gets the honour of having the first chance of the second half, sneaking in near the left post to fire a received cross from the right into De Sanctis' side netting.
Pirlo wins a free-kick less than 30 seconds into the second half. Napoli steal the ball back off the hosts but Behrami's ball is wayward and the ball is back in the home side's possession.
Before the game, Juve winger Lichtsteiner told Sky Sports: "We have to play our game like always, with the same movement and aggressiveness. Possession will be important and it is a major challenge for us but that does not change anything, We must keep [our momentum] going."
Right, send your thoughts on this Serie A clash so far to @Miles_Chambers on Twitter. Whether you want to talk score predictions, scorer guesses or anything else you want to share with Goal.com's millions of readers.
The half-time whistle blows and the Juventus Stadium is a cacophony of noise, though the amount of fouls conceded in this clash may actually outnumber the amount of fans in the stadium! A feisty affair that has seen Edinson Cavani hammer the crossbar from a free-kick at one end, and Giovinco and Marchisio provide a menacing thrat at the other.
Now it's Juventus on the front foot, and Claudio Marchisio forces a speedy save from De Sanctis! A wonderful 20-yard strike from the Italian midfielder on his left foot.
One minute to go until half-time. This is heading for a goalless break, but that's not to say this clash has been dull - far from it.
Napoli have a chance make Juve pay for some laziness in midfield, but cannot craft that final ball to set up a golden chance, and are instead hovering on the edge of the final third, desperately looking for gaps and leaks in the back line.
Stephan Lichtsteiner wins a corner for the home team from the right. Pirlo takes...and it's cleared by the Naples-based club.
Pandev fouls Asamoah. Again. There is so much aggresion in this match at the moment, and you've got to credit the referee for not throwing yello cards at people left, right and centre.
Oh wait! The ref gave that throw-in to Napoli! Juventus Stadium are baffled, and so am I, as I've not been able to see a replay.
Asamoah fails to whip in the cross he wants in, but the Bianconeri can keep pressing down the left as Juve win a throw-in.
Cavani needs to be careful as he's already on a yellow card, but the referee penalises him again for a raised boot while going in for a tackle with Pirlo.
Quagliarella is chippe through on goal but he is offside and play is brought to an expected halt.
Cavani puts in some hard graft to chase a long through ball and win a corner for Napoli.
The foul count must be abnormally high for this match, and Pirlo is the latest to get a telling off from the referee, though correctly there was no card this time.
Yellow Card Arturo Vidal
Vidal with a yellow card for a needless challenge around the centre circle. He was sent home from international duty for a red card during the international break - his teammates will be hoping he can keep his physicality in check for the remainder of this match.
Asamoah looks like he's going to cross but his effort ends up skewed towards the near post and De Sanctis has to dive to his right to cover the winger's tricky effort.
THWACK!! The goal absolutely clatters the crossbar, Edinson Cavani lashing it in the direction of the top-right corner, but the prolific Azzurri striker has to watch his effort bounce away and it remains goalless.
Napoli have a free-kick on the very edge of the box when Inler is brought down by Vidal on the left side of the box. Huge opportunity for the visitors here...
Juve have been unquestionably the stronger side in these opening stages but neither side has done enough yet to be able to say "yep, we deserve to be ahead in this game". This clash is delicately poised.
Pirlo waiting to take a corner on the Juve right, but the ref has to stop play because one or tewo oppositions are having a wrestling/cuddling contest in the Napoli box. Handbags.
Bonucci is hobbling ridiculously on the sidelines, but he's refusing to accept his injury and he's actually back on the pitch! With heavy strapping on one of his knees, which makes sense.
Another Juve player is down injured, Giovinco this time! Less than 20 minutes into the match and this has to be at least the seventh break in play while Juve players are down on the ground.
This is not good news for the home side - Bonucci is stretchered off the pitch and that will surely be the last we see of him.
Here's some pre-match quotes to whet your appetite as we take a break as Leonardo Bonucci receives treatment: Napoli captain Cannavaro said: "During these past two weeks, our city has experienced a wave of intensity and we hope we can give make the most of this added fuel. Our team always plays to win and to score with a clear idea in mind."
Napoli are lucky not to be behind! De Sanctis hesitates to run out for a beautifully envisioned lob from Andrea Pirlo, and Sebastian Giovinco gets to the loose ball at the same time as him. Fortunately for the goalkeeper, the Juve striker is deemed to have fouled De Sanctis and it's a free-kick 12 yards from their own goal for the Azzurri.
Yellow Card Edinson Cavani
Edinson Cavani is given a yellow card for what looked like a less drama queen-style tumble from Chiellini. The Uruguay forward stuck his elbow up and Chiellini ran straight into his arm at quite a pace.
Morgan De Sanctis distributes the ball out of his box poorly, and the Bianconeri can regain some composure and try to attack again.
Giorgio Chiellini with some fantastically unnecessary theatrics after getting a slight elbow to the neck in an aerial challenge with Goran Pandev. He gets the free-kick though!
Fabio Quagriella is fouled around the halfway line by Paulo Cannavaro, who probably did that one on purpose to show the Juve striker who he's dealing with.
Plenty of vibrancy at both ends this evening. Arturo Vidal has just lifted a shot slightly too high over the crossbar from 30 yards.
Asamoah is taking quite the beatng early on! He wins a free-kick again after being barged to the ground in an attempted dribble down the left flank he patrols.
Valon Behrami conceds a free-kick deep in the opposition half for a rash and not-well-received tackle on Kwadwo Asamoah.
We're under way at the Juventus Stadium! The home side in black and the visitors in baby blue.
Uaraera Tjaveondja wrote: "Hoping 4 a Napoli win; expect Juve 2 score, so possibly 2-1."
You can get in touch with me by tweeting @Miles_Chambers before, during and after kick-off! Whether you're asking questions, guessing the scoreline or analysing who is performing or underperforming!
More incentive to beat Juve will come in the form of ending their frankly enormous unbeaten streak in the Italian top division. Antonio Conte's men have not lost in the league in 46 matches but face their toughest test this season against a team who are level on points with them in Serie A.
Right, so, where to begin building up this one?! The last time these teams met was in the summer when the Serie A champions beat Napoli in controversial circumstances in the nation's Supercoppa. The losing side's coach, Walter Mazzarri, later admitted he considered retiring because of the game!
Napoli lineup: De Sanctis; Campagnaro, Cannavaro, Gamberini; Maggio, Hamsik, Inler, Behrami, Zuniga; Pandev; Cavani. Subs: Rosati, Grava, Fernandez, Aronica, Uvini, Mesto, Dzemaili, Donadel, Dossena, Insigne, Vargas.
Juventus lineup: Storari; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah; Quagliarella, Giovinco. Subs: Rubinho, Branescu, Lucio, Caceres, Isla, Marrone, Pogba, Padoin, Giaccherini, Bendtner, Matri.
Is branding this the biggest match of the weekend fair? Who cares because that's what I'm doing! I'm Miles Chambers and I'll be guiding you through the mammoth Serie A clash.
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