Juventus Stadium, Torino, Italy
Gonzalo Higuaín’s powerful 70th minute drive helped Juventus defeat title-rivals and former side Napoli 2-1 at the Juventus Stadium in Torino.
Leonardo Bonucci’s sublime volley four minutes into the restart put the Champions briefly ahead before José Callejón levelled the scores with a controlled-volley five minutes later. That was before Juventus’ £75m summer signing Higuaín, fired home the winner 20 minutes from time to extend the Bianconeri’s lead at the top of Serie A to five points.
In the 12th minute the visitors thought they had taken the lead when Callejón controlled a through-ball and fired home on the volley but the Spaniard was already in an offside position and the goal was chalked off.
A minute later the Bianconeri went close when a deflected Hernanes strike almost wrong-footed Pepe Reina, but the goalkeeper did well to get down and make the save.
Four minutes later the hosts had a good chance when a dangerous cross from Alex Sandro fell to Sami Khedira, who was actually offside, but the German midfielder just couldn’t get a touch. Two minutes later a dangerous cross from Sandro was parried by Reina into the path of Stephan Lichtsteiner, but the Swiss international fired harmlessly over the bar.
In the 23rd minute Higuaín had his first sight of goal when he was played through on-goal by Khedira, but Vlad Chiricheș made a fine last-ditch challenge to deny his former Napoli teammate.
Six minutes later Napoli went close when Allan dispossessed Hernanes and surged forward before firing an effort from-range that Gianluigi Buffon saved with ease.
Four minutes into the second-half the hosts took the lead. A Juventus corner should have been dealt with by Faouzi Ghoulam but he miscued his clearance, slicing the ball backwards into the path of Bonucci, who terrifically volleyed home past Reina.
However the lead lasted barely five minutes as the visitors drew level. Lorenzo Insigne wonderfully picked out Callejón with a lofted-pass and the Spaniard volleyed home past Buffon.
In the 70th minute the Bianconeri went ahead again. After a Higuaín pass was cut-out by Ghoulam, the loose ball fell to the Argentine and the former Napoli striker drilled home ferociously first-time, to put his new side ahead.
Two minutes later, the Neapolitans went close when Dries Mertens surged forward before firing an effort that drifted just wide.
In the 81st minute, Higuaín went close to his second of the night when a cross from substitute Juan Cuadrado found the Argentine, but he could only head off-target under-pressure.
Four minutes later Napoli went close to levelling the scores when a Ghoulam delivery from a freekick was deflected just over the bar by Mario Mandžukić. The resulting-corner caused havoc and almost fell to Chiricheș but Bonucci cleared the loose ball to Amadou Diawara, who fired just wide on the volley.
In the first minute of injury-time the visitors had a good chance to level the scores when Callejón pulled the ball back across the face of goal to Mertens but the Belgian fired over the bar. However it wouldn’t have counted as the flag was already up against Callejón.
The result meant that Juventus remained at the top of Serie A on 27 points, extending their lead to five points ahead of second-placed Roma, whilst Napoli remained in third on 20 points, now seven points behind leaders Juventus.