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Italy - Serie A
November 10, 2013
• Juventus Stadium, Torino
Referee: G. Rocchi
• Attendance: 38969
A. Pirlo 74'
P. Pogba 80'
That result means that Juventus leapfrog Napoli in the Serie A table to close the gap on Roma to just a single point and they will hope to continue their good form when they travel to Livorno after the international break. As for Napoli, they showed enough quality to suggest they will still be title contenders and they will hope to bounce back when they face Parma. Thanks for joining me, Max Bentley, on this live commentary. Until next time, goodbye.
FT: JUVENTUS 3-0 NAPOLI. The Bianconeri maintain their perfect home league record with a resounding win over Rafa Benitez's side. Fernando Llorente's tap-in gave Juventus the perfect start on two minutes and the points were secured in the second half with two fantastic strikes from Andrea Pirlo and Paul Pogba. However, it was not all good news for Antonio Conte's side as Angelo Ogbonna was sent off for a second bookable offence late on. The scoreline perhaps flatters the Italian champions who were on the backfoot for large parts of the second half but ultimately it was a deserved three points for the Turin outfit.
90' + 4'
BUFFON DENIES INSIGNE AGAIN! The Napoli attacker has proved one of his side's best players today and he receives a pass on the edge of the box before stinging the fingertips of his international colleague. Seconds remaining here.
90' + 2'
FERNANDEZ GOES CLOSE AGAIN! Hamsik's neat slide pass picks out Insigne down the left who looks up and crosses for the Argentine defender. However, his shot lacks conviction and cannot quite creep into the bottom corner as Buffon makes the save.
Fernandez lines up a shot from distance but his ambitious effort cannot beat Buffon and flashes narrowly over the crossbar. It seems Juventus are set for a clean sheet here to compliment their three points.
Juventus attempt to run down the clock further by making their final substitution as former Napoli striker Fabio Quagliarella replaces Fernando Llorente.
Insigne has been Napoli's brightest attacker today and he tests Buffon again with a low shot that skids off the surface. He's got a bright future ahead of him, that's for sure.
Arturo Vidal has battled tirelessly in the midfield but he is suffering a little here in the closing stages and is hauled off in place of Marchisio.
Antonio Conte opts to make an instant switch by throwing on Federico Peluso for Carlos Tevez. The Juventus coach clearly wants that clean sheet.
OGBONNA SENT OFF! The summer signing becomes Juventus' first player to be dismissed this season after hauling Mertens to the floor. He picks up a second yellow card and can have no complaints, waving to the fans as he walks off.
While you cannot deny that Juventus deserve to be in front, the scoreline does somewhat flatter the Italian champions. Napoli had looked the more assured side in the second half but they just could not find a way past the Bianconeri defence and have been undone by two splendid strikes.
WHAT A GOAL FROM POGBA! The France midfielder is renowned for some brilliant strikes and this is another to add to the collection. His first touch from Vidal's pass sets up kindly and he sends a blistering shot towards goal which cannons off the inside of the post and beyond Reina. Wonderful technique, three goals and three points for Juventus.
SUPER STOP FROM BUFFON! Hamsik produces a magnificent ball beyond Barzagli to set up Insigne and the Italy attacker sends a low shot towards the near post which Buffon get a strong hand to. That would have set up a tense finale.
As things stand, Juventus will close the gap on Roma to just one point at the top of the Serie A table after the Giallorossi slipped to a 1-1 draw at home to Sassuolo earlier today.
2-0, WHAT A STRIKE FROM PIRLO! The dead-ball specialist produces a moment of magic as he curls the ball over the wall and beyond the despairing dive of Reina into the top corner. Juventus are on course to maintain their 100% home league record.
Tevez wins a free kick in a dangerous area outside the Napoli box when he is man-handled by Inler. Can Pirlo produce one of his trademark free kicks?
Yellow CardArturo Vidal
Arturo Vidal is shown a yellow card for a reckless lunge on Armero although fortunately, he did not catch the Colombian.
Rafa Benitez opts to make the first substitution of the game, replacing Jose Callejon with Dries Mertens. The Belgian winger was Benitez's first signing for the club. Can he make an impact here?
Higuain is cutting a rather frustrated figure on the field as he is afforded very little space by the Juventus defence. Bar that one chance in the first half, he has hardly threatened Buffon's goal.
SO CLOSE TO 2-0! Juventus produce their best football of the second half when Isla's pass is neatly guided into the path of Vidal by Tevez but the Chilean gets the ball stuck slightly between his feet and can only steer the ball narrowly the wrong side of the post.
Napoli have failed to score in five of their last seven visits to Juventus but they are looking increasingly likely to net here. Just under 25 minutes remaining for Benitez's men.
GREAT CHANCE FOR NAPOLI! The warning signs are there for Juventus as Hamsik creeps in behind Pogba who was caught napping at the back post but the Slovakian can only fire a shot into the side netting.
Callejon has been rather anonymous so far but he produces a brilliant diagonal run across the Juventus defence to latch onto Albiol's long ball. The former Real Madrid winger picks out Hamsik inside the box but the Slovakian is let down by his first touch and a good chance goes begging. Conte is extremely animated on the touchline.
Yellow CardMarek Hamsik
Marek Hamsik is the first Napoli player to be cautioned, for dissent.
Pepe Reina may have kept his side in this contest in the first half but he produces an awkward save when he parries Vidal's effort straight into the path of Tevez. Fortunately for the Spanish goalkeeper the Argentine's shot lacks power and he gets up quickly to claim the ball.
Yellow CardAngelo Ogbonna
Ogbonna joins Bonucci in the referee's notebook after blocking Reina's attempted clearance. A little bit silly, that.
GOOD CHANCE FOR JUVENTUS! Pirlo plays an intelligent quick free kick towards Tevez but the Argentine striker can only send a tame header into the gloves of Reina. I think he actually had time to take the ball down there, that was a decent opportunity.
Pirlo delivers a teasing free kick into the Napoli box but Albiol is in the right place to head the ball clear. Reina has yet to be called into action in this second half.
You can sense the anxiety amongst the home fans as Juventus struggle to get the ball out of their own half. Rafa Benitez's team-talk has clearly had an effect on the Napoli players.
GOOD SAVE FROM BUFFON! Insigne curls the ball over the wall expertly but the Azzurri No.1 scrambles across his goalmouth quickly to turn the ball around the post.
Yellow CardLeonardo Bonucci
Leonardo Bonucci picks up the first yellow card of the game for a mistimed lunge on Insigne. That means he will miss the match against Livorno. This is an enticing free kick opportunity for Napoli just outside the box.
Antonio Conte is absolutely furious on the touchline when Asamoah nearly gifts the ball straight to Higuain in a dangerous area but his blushes are spared as Bonucci is alert to hack the ball to safety. Napoli are in the ascendency at the moment.
This time Juventus do not score within the first two minutes and it is in fact the visitors who have started the half the brightest. Inler attempts to clip a ball beyond the Bianconeri defence for Higuain but Barzagli anticipates the danger expertly.
Juventus get the ball rolling for the second half. Can they start with a similar relentless attacking display to the one they showed at the start of the first?
The teams re-emerge from the tunnel for the second half. It does not appear that there are any substitutions at the break.
HT: JUVENTUS 1-0 NAPOLI. Fernando Llorente's second-minute strike is the difference between the two sides in a lively encounter in Turin. The hosts raced out of the blocks and had it not been for the heroics of Pepe Reina, Napoli could be out of this contest. However, the Partenopei have responded well and Gonzalo Higuain and Lorenzo Insigne have both gone close to finding the equaliser. Can Napoli find a way back in the second half to dent Juventus' perfect home start to the season?
Tevez holds the ball up brilliantly before sending Pogba clear down the left-hand side. However, Fernandez shows good pace and anticipation to get back and deny the France midfielder from getting a cross into the box.
There is a stoppage in play here as Inler and Ogbonna both require treatment after a nasty collision. Both players should be able to continue however.
GREAT EFFORT FROM INSIGNE! Armero finds space down the left again and picks out Insigne who cuts inside the challenge of Barzagli before bending a brilliant right-footed shot towards the top corner which nestles onto the roof of the net. Buffon looked beaten there.
Napoli are being forced out wide by Juventus and they are struggling to pick out teammates with their crosses into the box. Ogbonna does well on this occasion to hold off the challenge of Higuain and get the ball clear.
ANOTHER GREAT SAVE FROM REINA! Isla pokes a neat pass between two Napoli shirts for Vidal and the Chilean crosses an accurate ball towards the near post where Llorente meets it with a firm header, forcing Reina into a smart reflex stop.
Juventus are working hard here and they have all eleven men behind the ball as they seek to stifle the Napoli attack. Bonucci manages to get hold of the ball and tries to take the sting out of the game by slowing down the tempo.
INSIGNE GOES CLOSE! The young Italy international scampers his way beyond Pirlo and Barzagli into the Juventus box but drags a shot narrowly wide of the far post.
Isla is getting into some advanced positions down the right and he whips a teasing cross into the box which Fernandez does excellently to head clear under pressure from Pogba. Antonio Conte will be pleased with his side's performance so far but will no doubt feel they need a two-goal cushion.
Napoli need to do more in the final third here because they are conceding possession too easily. Neither Hamsik nor Insigne have been been able to demonstrate their creative qualities so far.
ASAMOAH GOES CLOSE! The Ghanaian wing-back latches onto Pirlo's chipped ball towards the back post but he can only fire into the side netting from an acute angle.
Incidentally that Llorente goal was the first to be scored by a Spanish player against a Spanish goalkeeper in Serie A.
GOOD SAVE FROM REINA! Tevez is looking in the mood this evening and he finds space on the edge of the box before testing the Napoli goalkeeper with a fizzing low shot which Reina parries before Maggio sweeps up the danger.
SO CLOSE FROM HIGUAIN! Armero finds space down the left and his accurate cross picks out Higuain on the edge of the box. The Argentine has his back to goal but swivels brilliantly and shifts the ball past Ogbonna before firing narrowly wide. That's the best we have seen from Napoli so far.
This is a better spell for Napoli and they are beginning to get a foothold in this game. Buffon is called into action for the first time as he gets down low to save from Insigne.
Rafa Benitez is up from the dugout after Maggio sloppily allows the ball to run under his foot and out of play. This Napoli side are lacking urgency at the moment. Benitez of course has enjoyed success over Juventus before and knocked them out of the Champions League quarter finals with Liverpool.
I think Pirlo has been giving Bonucci passing lessons because the centre-back is spraying some wonderful long range passes all over the pitch. Higuain has hardly had a sniff of Buffon's goal so far.
Paul Pogba has enjoyed a magnificent start to the season and he produces a clever run to meet Bonucci's long ball but is denied a route to goal by Fernandez's brave challenge.
Napoli are slowly starting to find their rhythm in this match but they are yet to seriously test the Juventus defence. Rafa Benitez looks on rather glumly from the touchline.
Gokhan Inler scored a wonderful goal against Marseille and he tries his luck here but his ambitious effort flies wide of the target. The Napoli fans must be relieved that their side have made it out of their half.
WHAT A SAVE FROM REINA! Juventus come desperately close to making it 2-0 but are denied by a world-class stop from the Spanish goalkeeper. Pirlo floats a cross towards the back post and Pogba gets above his marker to head the ball across goal where Bonucci looks to set to nod into the net, only to be denied by a quite wonderful reflex save.
It's all Juventus at the moment and they almost score a freak second goal when Reina nervously tips Isla's shot-cum-cross over the crossbar.
Juventus continue to exert the early pressure and they have Napoli camped deep into their own half at the moment. Antonio Conte's are looking to preserve their 100% home league record.
It's a blistering start from Juventus here and they win a corner when Tevez's fierce shot is deflected behind off the legs of Albiol. However, Hamsik manages to clear from Pirlo's set piece.
LLORENTE PUTS JUVENTUS IN THE LEAD! It's a dream start for the Bianconeri as Llorente reacts quickest at the back post to poke the ball home after Isla's shot had deflected kindly off Tevez and into his path. There were suspicions of offside but the goal stands, 1-0!
JUVENTUS ALMOST TAKE THE LEAD AFTER 44 SECONDS! Pepe Reina is called into action early on and he produces a fine save to deny Pogba who connects well with Isla's cross from the right.
Gianluca Rocchi blows his whistle and Napoli, in their blue shirts, get the game underway. Can they make it six wins in a row in all competitions?
There are brilliant scenes here at the Juventus Stadium with both sets of fans in fine voice. Captains Gianluigi Buffon and Marek Hamsik begin the handshakes between the respective sides.
Carlos Tevez is on the field receiving his player of the month award. The Argentine striker is currently tied on six league goals with Marek Hamsik and Jose Callejon and will be hopeful of extending his tally today.
The last time these two sides met at the Juventus Stadium, late goals from Martin Caceres and Paul Pogba gave the Old Lady a 2-0 win over Napoli before the points were shared in a 1-1 draw at the San Paolo later in the season. I think we can expect some goals today as there has not been a goalless draw in this fixture for more than 30 years.
As for Napoli, they are suffering a slight defensive headache after losing both Giandomenico Mesto and Camilo Zuniga to injury. The game also comes too soon for Anthony Reveillere who joined on an emergency deal earlier this week. However, the Partenopei are at full strength in attack with Gonzalo Higuain leading the line.
The bad news for Juventus is that Giorgio Chiellini has not recovered from a muscular injury which means that Angelo Ogbonna is handed a rare start in the back three. Martin Caceres has joined Uruguay on international duty, meaning Mauricio Isla starts on the right with Stephan Lichtsteiner still sidelined. Paul Pogba is once again preferred to Claudio Marchisio in the midfield.
NAPOLI (4-2-3-1): Reina; Maggio, Fernandez, Albiol, Armero; Inler, Behrami; Callejon, Hamsik, Insigne; Higuain.
JUVENTUS (3-5-2): Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Ogbonna; Isla, Vidal, Pirlo, Pogba, Asamoah; Tevez, Llorente.
Without further ado, here are today's lineups...
Juventus and Napoli are locked on 28 points after eleven matches, losing only one game each. However, the Bianconeri tend to have the upper hand in this fixture and the Partenopei have not tasted success away to Juventus since a 3-2 victory in 2009. Can Rafa Benitez mastermind a win over Antonio Conte this evening?
Both sides return to domestic action after tightly-contested Champions League matches in midweek. Fernando Llorente's late header helped Juventus to rescue a point against Real Madrid in a 2-2 draw whilst Napoli kept their European hopes alive as Gonzalo Higuain netted twice in their 3-2 victory over Marseille.
Welcome to the huge Scudetto showdown in Turin where Italian champions Juventus are set to battle it out with title contenders Napoli. With Roma slipping up against Sassuolo in the 94th minute earlier this afternoon, it is a wonderful opportunity for one of these sides to go just one point behind the Giallorossi at the Serie A summit. Who can raise their game and earn all three valuable points? Bringing you all the action from the Juventus Stadium, my name is Max Bentley.
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