News Live Scores
Juventus

'This squad does not give up' - Martusciello praises Juve's character following late win over Napoli

02:03 BST 01/09/2019
Gonzalo Higuain Juventus
The acting coach – with Maurizio Sarri still recovering from pneumonia – reflected on his side's last-gasp victory over Napoli

Juventus assistant Giovanni Martusciello said the Serie A champions never give up after Saturday's stunning 4-3 win over Scudetto rivals Napoli.

After surrendering a 3-0 lead, Juventus prevailed thanks to Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly's 92nd-minute own goal at the Allianz Stadium in Turin.

Juventus were cruising courtesy of goals from Danilo, Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo, whose strike put the home side ahead just past the hour mark.

Napoli, however, produced a sensational rally as Kostas Manolas, Hirving Lozano and Giovanni Di Lorenzo scored to help restore parity by the 81st minute.

But Juve managed to escape with all three points after Koulibaly turned the ball into his own net in the second minute of stoppage time.

Martusciello – deputising on the sidelines as head coach Maurizio Sarri continues to recover from pneumonia – told Sky Sport Italia : "We saw a physical dip after the hour mark and it was tough against a side like Napoli who pass it so well, but we also got distracted and should've made more of the situation when 3-0 up.

"You can concede goals, but not three in 16 minutes. Perhaps we felt sated by going 3-0 up and allowed Napoli to bite back.

"When there are errors of positioning and then reaction, you're going to concede goals against players of this quality. I want to focus on the very positive performance in the first hour, but some fear set in after they got back into it.

"I've been here for around a month and even in the pre-season friendlies I was amazed by the way this squad does not give up. They gave their all and kept going to achieve something from the game and it is a remarkable trait."

Star defender Matthijs de Ligt made his Serie A debut for Juve following his big-money arrival from Eredivisie champions Ajax.

De Ligt was an unused substitute in Juve's opener but Giorgio Chiellini's anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) handed the 20-year-old his first start.

The Netherlands international, though, was not completely convincing – the Dutchman caught napping for Napoli's second goal.

"De Ligt is still a little bit behind in terms of learning the movements and being part of the defensive unit," Martusciello said. "He has arrived in a difficult league like Serie A from a very different team, but he has a great deal of quality, is very intelligent and will learn quickly. He had a very good hour too, so he's getting there.

"We had hoped for more time to get him settled, but unfortunately Giorgio Chiellini had that serious injury and changed the plans."