Napoli 1-1 Juventus
Napoli XI: De Sanctis; Campagnaro, Cannavaro, Britos; Maggio, Behrami, Inler, Zuniga; Hamsik; Pandev, Cavani
Juventus XI: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Peluso; Vucinic, Giovinco
Nothing separated these two sides following an exhilarating, 1-1 draw at the San Paolo on Friday. Juventus can take comfort, however, knowing that the draw was enough to preserve their six-point advantage atop the Serie A table.
Giorgio Chiellini opened the scoring after 10 minutes. Andrea Pirlo’s floated cross following a short Juventus corner found the defender, who was making his return following an injury, and he simply out-jumped Napoli’s Miguel Britos before arrowing a powerful header past goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis.
Britos’ match would come to an end at the interval, as his head-on-head collision with Gokhan Inler saw him dizzied and spitting blood, but Inler came out of the incident in rather better shape and was able to notch the equalizer with two minutes remaining in the first half when his drive from distance took a wicked deflection off Leonardo Bonucci.
Level at a goal apiece at the restart, both sides engaged in a frantic, end-to-end contest that produced plenty of chances for both but a goal for neither. Edinson Cavani, who was held off the scoresheet for a seventh match in succession, had only a single shot on target and completely missed to Juventus goal when he was awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box near the end of the period.
At that point he was lucky to still be on the pitch, as his elbow to Chiellini’s head late in the first half resulted in a yellow card when it might easily have been red.