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Napoli – Juventus 2:1

Napoli Juventus Serie A

The Partenopei were unbeaten under third coach of the season Francesco Calzona, as after draws with Barcelona and Cagliari, they crushed Sassuolo 6-1. Cyril Ngonge and Jens Cajuste were injured, while Juve missed Adrien Rabiot, Weston McKennie, Moise Kean, Mattia Perin and Mattia De Sciglio, with Paul Pogba handed a four-year ban for doping. It allowed Carlos Alcaraz to get his first start and Federico Chiesa returned after injury.

Alcaraz wasn’t ready for the Samuel Iling-Junior pull-back in the opening minute and Dusan Vlahovic’s header grazed the upright after Chiesa caught Matias Olivera napping.

Vlahovic was booked for a foul on Kvicha Kvaratskhelia and will be suspended next week against Atalanta. Giovanni Di Lorenzo fired over after a Hamed Junior Traore volley was blocked and Bremer was booked for battling with Victor Osimhen just outside the box, although it was not a red because other Juve defenders were in the vicinity.

Wojciech Szczesny spilled the ferocious low Matteo Politano free kick, but was able to prevent the Andre Frank Zambo Anguissa follow-up from point-blank range.

Andrea Cambiaso’s cross flew past Chiesa and found Iling-Junior to volley over the bar from 12 yards. Juve had an extraordinary opportunity on 34 minutes when Vlahovic sprung the offside trap on the Fabio Miretti through ball and drew out Meret to chip it over from the tightest of angles, seeing it flash across the open goal to bounce off the inside of the far post.

Napoli also went extremely close, as Mathias Olivera’s looping header had beaten Szczesny, but Alex Sandro was ready to clear off the line.

The hosts took the lead with a moment of magic, as Bremer nodded Di Lorenzo’s cross away, but only as far as Kvaratskhelia for a volley into the ground that bounced just in front of Szczesny to squirm into the near bottom corner.

It should’ve been 1-1 moments later when Traore was caught napping on the Meret play out from the back, but Vlahovic wasted it by blasting over the bar from the edge of the box.

Cambiaso also fired over from a very promising position after the restart and Vlahovic saw his angled drive smothered by Meret.

Amir Rrahmani went off injured, but Juventus equalised when Chiesa moved back to his more natural habitat as a winger. He completed a give and go with Alcaraz down the right and drilled the daisy-cutter across Meret with his right foot into the far bottom corner.

However, Osimhen then went down in the box with Joseph Nonge treading on his foot as he tried to squirm between three players. The referee at first waved play on, but awarded the penalty following a VAR On-Field Review.

Osimhen’s penalty was parried by Szczesny, but Raspadori sprinted onto the rebound to fire it into the roof of the net from six yards. There was no encroachment because the Napoli players cleverly started their run a long way outside the area, so were able to build up a head of steam.

Juve again wasted a golden opportunity to equalise straight away, as after a chaotic corner, Daniele Rugani blasted over from six yards.

Napoli 2-1 Juventus

Kvaratskhelia 43 (N), Chiesa 81 (J), Raspadori 88 (N)