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Juventus v Napoli Live Commentary, 06/01/2022

FT
1 - 1
JUV
NAP
F. Chiesa (54)
D. Mertens (23)
Allianz Stadium

Commentary

That is all from this Serie A coverage, until next time!
Neither side can get off to winning ways in 2022 and Allegri's men remain fifth, while Spalletti's side sit two places above in third. Napoli next host Sampdoria on Sunday, when Juventus travel to face Jose Mourinho's Roma.
Juventus players are furious as the referee blows for full-time before they can take the corner. That doesn't change the result, though, as they share the points with Napoli after Chiesa's second-half strike cancelled out Mertens' first-half opener in a 1-1 draw at the Allianz Stadium.
P. Dybala
Yellow Card
Juventus
90' + 7' Dybala is fuming with the referee as he blows for full-time before the corner can be taken. Rightly, he goes into the book for dissent.
90' + 7' FULL-TIME: JUVENTUS 1-1 NAPOLI
90' + 7' Ospina directs his wall into the required position as Juve debate who will take the free-kick. Dybala and Cuadrado stand over it, with the latter pulling rank and shooting - but his effort is deflected behind for a corner.
90' + 6' Napoli crowd the referee once more after Jesus is adjudged to have fouled Dybala. Juve, meanwhile, set up for a free-kick 25 yards from goal in a great position.
90' + 5' OVER! Kean misses a glorious chance as he heads over from Cuadrado's floated delivery with the goal at his mercy. Ospina remained motionless and would have got nowhere near that, though he will be delighted to see the ball fly just over.
90' + 4' Petagna is on the receiving end of a heavy aerial challenge from Rugani, gifting the visitors a free-kick halfway inside the Juve half. Ghoulam clips towards the area but Kean heads clear.
90' + 3' As Ospina looks to release the ball up the field, Ghoulam goes down holding his back. Juve players rush over to vent their frustrations, but that will not matter to Napoli as they waste a few more vital seconds.
90' + 3' Dybala crosses deep towards the far post, where De Ligt towers above his opposite man. He can only head into the safe hands of Ospina, who dives gratefully onto the ball.
A. Zanoli
S. Lobotka
Napoli
90' + 2' Zanoli, perhap solely to defend the incoming corner, is sent on for Lobotka.
90' + 1' Kean powers down the left flank, cuttning inside before playing off Rrahmani to win a corner. The forward then gestures to the home crowd to get behind his side and they respond with some vociferous support.
90' There will be five minutes of added time as both sides search for a late winning goal.
A. Petagna
D. Mertens
Napoli
89' Mertens, who opened the scoring, is brought off by the away side for Petagna.
D. Demme
Yellow Card
Napoli
87' Demme is shown a yellow card for dissent.
86' Cuadrado is eventually allowed to deliver the set-piece from the right, but he fails to beat the first man and then Locatelli fires wildly over.
85' There's a stoppage in play as Di Lorenzo remains down in the Juve area after De Ligt's strong challenge. At the other end, Cuadrado waits over a free-kick in a good position on the right-hand side.
83' De Ligt regains possession on the edge of the area before arrowing forward for Dybala, whose cross evades all of his team-mates and Napoli avert the danger.
82' Dybala and Locatelli combine to foul Di Lorenzo, providing the visitors with a set-piece in a dangerous position on the right flank.
D. Kulusevski
F. Chiesa
Juventus
81' Scorer of the equaliser, Chiesa, is substituted off for Kulusevski.
80' Insigne has scored four goals against Juventus in Serie A, including three in the four games played from 2020 onwards: only scoring more versus Bologna (4) over the same period. Can he find the late winner here?
78' Kean's first involvement sees him wander into the right-hand corner and he does well to play backwards. Dybala keeps the move alive but with a see of red in front of him opts to go back to De Ligt.
E. Elmas
M. Politano
Napoli
76' Elmas, who only recently returned a negative COVID-19 test, replaces Politano.
M. De Sciglio
Alex Sandro
Juventus
75' De Sciglio also comes on for Alex Sandro in the left-back slot.
M. Kean
Álvaro Morata
Juventus
75' Morata, reportedly a target of Barcelona, wanders off and Kean takes his place up top.
74' The ball continues to yo-yo between both teams with neither capable of retaining possession for more than a few passes in the last five minutes or so.
72' The visitors have seen over 65 per cent of the second-half possession, though they have nothing to show for their endeavours as of yet as the game heads towards a potentially tense finale.
71' Lobotka keeps popping up in just the right place at the right time as he again makes a crucial interception. Napoli go down the other end but their build-up play is too slow and lacks creativity, allowing Cuadrado to intervene.
69' Juventus have won nine of their 10 games against Napoli at Allianz Stadium (L1) - since the 2011/12 season, the Bianconeri have only won more home games against Fiorentina and Roma (10).
67' EFFORT! Dybala is immediately involved, drifting through the centre before aiming for the bottom-left corner from 30 yards out. Ospina scrambles across quickly and manages to make the save.
R. Bentancur
A. Rabiot
Juventus
66' The hosts also make an alteration in midfield, with Bentancur replacing the industrious Rabiot.
P. Dybala
F. Bernardeschi
Juventus
65' Bernardeschi makes way as part of a double substitution by Allegri. Dybala takes his place up top.
65' Szczesny is required to make a routine save as he palms away Mertens' low drive - both sides are going for it and it is either's for the taking at the minute!
64' Insigne goes on a solo run, beating three players before going down on the left of the area. The referee, however, shakes his head and calls for play to continue.
63' SAVE! Chiesa, Juve's best attacking outlet, flies towards the area, controlling the ball with his knee before volleying towards goal with his right foot. Ospina remains in the centre of his net and beats away the Italy forward's strike.
61' Ghoulam ventures down the left flank and wins a corner as his cross is blocked behind. Insigne goes short, crossing towards the edge of the area, where Politano is crowded out by Juve defenders.
59' Zielinski jinks one way and another but Rugani does not fall for his tricks and tackles. Napoli, however, regain possession and every pass they make is being met by loud jeers from the home faithful in Turin.
58' Juventus and Napoli have met in Serie A on the day of the Epiphany once before, in 1991, when the Bianconeri won thanks to a goal by Casiraghi in the 87th minute (1-0).
56' That leveller has woken the home crowd up and they nearly see their side double their tally as Rabiot drills into a wall of Napoli's red shirts.
F. Chiesa
Goal
Juventus
54' GOOOOOALLLL! 1-1! Just as the game looked like it has settled into fairly sub-par and uneventful proceedings, Chiesa sneaks one into the bottom-left corner. Rrahmani can only head out to the edge of the area, where the forward is waiting before drilling a low effort, which deflects off Lobotka, and past Ospina.
53' Lobotak intercepts near the centre-circle but has no options ahead of him, forcing him to play towards his own goal. After a promising opening 45 minutes, this game has turned into a fairly sedate affair after the half-time whistle.
51' Di Ligt plays all the way back to Szczesny, much to the frustration of the home crowd. Napoli then regain possession and appear content to work it around the back as they look to carve out an opening.
49' CHANCE! Chiesa finds a yard of space in the middle of the pitch before feeding into the area for Morata, who can only blast well wide of the target under relatively little pressure.
48' Morata's cross deflects into the path of Chiesa, who volleys acrobatically into Ghoulam. The hosts have started brightly yet again, just as they did in the first half.
47' Napoli are only the second side to attempt more than 10 shots in a single Serie A first half at Juventus, after Lazio in 2013.
46' The players are back out at the Allianz Stadium and the second half is under way!
Allegri will be disappointed with the Bianconeri's creativity at the attacking end, with their attacks regularly petering out into nothing. Napoli, meanwhile, are playing with real confidence despite various coronavirus-related absentees and Spalletti, wherever he is watching from, will be more than pleased with the visitors' work so far.
Juventus may have started the brighter of the two sides but their promise quickly faded away when Mertens fired in past Szczesny. That remains the only goal of a frantic first half, meaning Napoli lead 1-0 at the break.
45' + 1' HALF-TIME: JUVENTUS 0-1 NAPOLI
45' WIDE! Mertens, Insigne and Ghoulam discuss with one another over the free-kick in a dangerous central position. It is the Belgium international who takes it, curling just wide to the right without inducing a save from Szczesny.
Alex Sandro
Yellow Card
Juventus
44' Napoli counter-attack rapidly, resulting in Politano having acres of space at the edge of the area. Alex Sandro cynically hacks him down, gifting the visitors a free-kick as he also becomes the first name in the referee's book.
43' Before the corner on the left can be taken, VAR checks that Mertens did not block with his arm. After a brief consultation, play resumes and Bernardeschi crosses in but does not beat the first man at the near post.
42' Morata goes down softly but is rewarded with a free-kick in the centre of the pitch, around 30 yards from goal. Cuadrado hovers over it before crashing his attempt into the wall. McKennie then manages to win a corner on the left.
40' Alex Sandro gets his body in the way and buys a free-kick on the left flank after Chiesa is crowded out. Bernardeschi delivers but Ospina claims with ease above numerous bodies inside the area.
39' SAVE! Locatelli attempts a delicate chip through for the run of Chiesa, who sees Insigne get there first and launch a clearance long. Napoli then counter, with Zielinski forcing a smart Szczesny stop with his clipped effort from the edge of the area.
37' Di Lorenzo produces a smart sliding stop to deny Morata from racing onto Chiesa's throughball. This game is only 37 minutes in but is fast turning into an end-to-end affair and long may it continue.
35' Alex Sandro dances one way and then the other but the best he can produce from wide is a cross into the hands of Ospina, much to the frustration of the crowd in Turin.
34' Napoli press high and are rewarded for their hard work with a throw-in on the left. Juve are struggling to get out of their half at the minute as Spalletti's side continue to assert their authority on this fixture.
32' Away from home in Serie A, Napoli kept 10 clean sheets in 2021, more than any other team. However, the first of those clean sheets didn’t come until March, after they conceded goals in each of their first six away games of the year.
30' De Ligt races up the pitch and comes through the back of Mertens. The goalscorer lets out a yelp as he goes to ground, though the referee initially waves the game on. Play then stops for the Belgium international to have some brief treatment on his ankle.
28' McKennie can get nowhere near Insigne's low centre of gravity and is forced to drag him down deep inside the Napoli half. Wherever Spalletti is watching, he will be pleased with what he is seeing from his side thus far.
27' The boisterous home crowd have been somewhat silenced by Mertens' opener. That is until Chiesa powers forwards and wins a corner on the right as his strike is deflected behind.
25' Zielinski wants to get in on the act now, though De Ligt intervenes at just the right moment. The visitors, without numerous stars, are ahead despite Juve's positive opening.
M. Politano
Assist
Napoli
23' Politano drifts in behind and is found by Insigne. The winger lays back for Mertens, who finishes with a low drive past Szczesny's right.
D. Mertens
Goal
Napoli
23' GOOALLLL! 1-0 NAPOLI! Insigne clips over the top for Politano, who takes a touch before offloading to Mertens. He sets himself before blasting towards the bottom-left corner, where De Ligt fails to clear on the line and Napoli take the lead.
22' The visitors win their first corner on the right flank as Chiesa bundles behind when doing his defensive duties. Napoli go short but, frustratingly, Mertens is lazily caught offside on the return pass.
20' At an average age of 29 years and 355 days, Napoli have fielded against Juventus their oldest starting XI in the three points for a win era in the Serie A.
18' Ghoulam makes a mess of his hooked pass before rapidly removing the danger as he tackles Bernardeschi to make amends. The left-back has endured a mixed start to this game so far.
17' CLOSE! Chiesa is afforded far too much room through the inside-left channel and wanders forward. He then switches onto his left foot and arrows just wide of Ospina's goal the left - another warning sign for the visitors.
16' Insigne drifts in from the left-hand side once more and sets his sights on the top-right corner. The winger slices his strike way over the bar, though, and Szczesny retrieves the ball for a goal-kick.
15' A neat passage of play sees Politano find space on the right flank but his left-footed effort is blocked before it can trouble the Juve goal. The same happens again moments later as Mertens drills into De Ligt.
13' SAVE! Rabiot fires into the feet of Chiesa, who twists and turns in the box before drilling low towards the bottom-left corner. Ospina, however, sees it all the way and makes a relatively straightforward save.
12' A loose ball falls kindly for Insigne around 25 yards from goal but the Italy international curls high and wide of Szczesny's goal.
11' In all competitions in December 2021, Bernardeschi had a direct hand in the most goals (4), attempted the most shots (18) and created more chances (10) than any other Juventus player. Indeed, he also has two Serie A goals against Napoli, thanks to his last brace in the competition, with Fiorentina in December 2016.
10' Zielinksi wins a soft foul in the middle of the park, which offers his side a vital few seconds to catch their breath. That quickly comes to an end though, as Rabiot powers down the other end before skewing wide of the target.
8' Bernardeschi roams infield and perhaps goes too far, cutting off any possible angles for a profitable throughball. Nevertheless, the Bianconeri maintain possession before a needless Rabiot long pass flies out of play.
7' Juve are dominating the early possessional play, perhaps as expected given the depleted nature of their opponents. The hosts feel they should have a corner on the right flank, but the assistant disagrees and flags for a goal-kick.
5' WIDE! Bernardeschi is the man to take the corner on the left, swinging it towards the middle of the area. McKennie towers above his opposite man but heads narrowly wide with the goal at his mercy - a great chance goes amiss for Allegri's men.
4' BLOCK! Morata works it out wide to Chiesa, who strikes with his left foot but Di Lorenzo is there in the nick of time to avert the danger and block behind for the first corner of the game.
3' Szczesny has the ball at his feet and chooses to work it around the back. The home side eventually go long, with Morata left on the floor. However, Napoli are intent on playing on as the Spain international rolls around before making it back to his feet.
2' Juve press high early on but Di Lorenzo finds a pass to Ghoulam, who drives forward and through the hosts' midfield line before sensibly opting to play backwards and retain possession.
1' Referee Simone Sozza gets play under way at the Allianz Stadium.
Napoli have won three of the last four league games against Juventus (L1), as many wins as they managed in the previous 18 meetings (D4 L11). From 2020 onwards, the Partenopei have beaten the Bianconeri more often in Serie A than any other side (3).
Head coach Luciano Spalletti leads the list of Napoli absentees after the Naples outfit were ravaged by coronavirus. Talisman Victor Osimhen, left-back Mario Rui, Hirving Lozano and Fabian Ruiz are also among the notable stars in isolation, meaning the onus will be on the likes of the veteran Mertens and reportedly Toronto-bound Insigne to star against the Bianconeri.
Allegri opts for four changes from his final starting line-up of 2021. Kean, Arthur and Bentancur drop to the bench for McKennie, Locatelli and Chiesa. At the back, Rugani partners De Ligt in the absence of Leonardo Bonucci. Morata, amid links to Barcelona, starts up top for the hosts.
SUBS: Davide Marfella, Davide Costanzo, Hubert David Idasiak, Andrea Petagna, Antonio Vergara, Jonathan Spedalieri, Alessandro Zanoli, Eljif Elmas.
NAPOLI (4-2-3-1): David Ospina; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Juan Jesus, Amir Rrahmani, Faouzi Ghoulam; Diego Demme, Stanislav Lobotka; Lorenzo Insigne, Matteo Politano, Piotr Zielinski; Dries Mertens.
SUBS: Mattia Perin, Moise Kean, Paulo Dybala, Arthur, Rodrigo Bentancur, Dejan Kulusevski, Mattia De Sciglio, Zsombor Senko.
JUVENTUS (4-3-3): Wojciech Szczesny; Juan Cuadrado, Matthijs de Ligt, Daniele Rugani, Alex Sandro; Weston McKennie, Adrien Rabiot, Manuel Locatelli; Federico Bernardeschi, Alvaro Morata, Federico Chiesa.
Napoli were the early runaway leaders with Milan but faltered towards the end of last year, finishing with a disappointing 1-0 loss at Spezia after downing Stefano Pioli’s side by the same scoreline. The visitors are two places above Juventus in third, seven points behind Simone Inzaghi's leaders.
Juventus concluded 2021 with back-to-back 2-0 victories over Bologna and Cagliari to leave them fifth in Serie A. The Bianconeri sit four points behind fourth-placed Atalanta heading into their first game of the new year, while Inter are 12 points clear of Massimiliano Allegri’s men at the summit.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the Serie A fixture between Juventus and Napoli.