Nov 10, 2013 at 7.45pm UK at ​Juventus Stadium
Juventus
3-0
Napoli
Llorente (2'), Pirlo (74'), Pogba (79')
Bonucci (51'), Ogbonna (57'), Vidal (72')
Ogbonna (83')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Hamsik (61')

Live Commentary: Juventus 3-0 Napoli - as it happened

Fernando Llorente of Juventus celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Serie A match between Juventus and SSC Napoli at Juventus Arena on November 10, 2013
© Getty Images
Relive Sports Mole's coverage of an impressive performance from Juventus against Napoli in Serie A.

Juventus hosted Napoli in a top-of-the-table clash in Serie A this afternoon, with the two sides separated only by goal difference in the table.

Antonio Conte's side flew out of the traps in an entertaining clash and broke the deadlock inside two minutes, with Fernando Llorente pouncing to prod home from close range.

Napoli pressed for an equaliser but were caught cold by two spectacular late strikes from the Old Lady, with Andrea Pirlo's free kick followed by a ferocious volley from Paul Pogba.

The Bianconeri held out to claim three precious points despite Angelo Ogbonna's dismissal in the closing stages, condemning Rafael Benitez's side to their second league defeat of the season.

Look back at statement of intent from the defending champions with Sports Mole's minute-by-minute commentary below.


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7.17pmEvening Calcio fans. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for what is surely the biggest clash on the continent this weekend, as Juventus and Napoli meet in Turin with nothing to choose between them in the Serie A standings.

7.20pmBoth teams have been presented with a terrific opportunity to close the gap on Serie A leaders Roma tonight, after the Giallorossi dropped points for the second week in succession at home to Sassuolo earlier today. Tonight's victor would move to within a point of Rudi Garcia's runaway leaders, so plenty of incentive there to claim all three points in a showdown between title contenders at the Juventus Arena.

7.23pmJuve go into the match as slight favourites thanks to a quite magnificent home record, which has continued this season with five successive victories at their Turin fortress. Antonio Conte's men also showed plenty of fight in a 2-2 Champions League draw with Real Madrid in midweek, so confidence should be no problem for the Bianconeri tonight.

7.26pmNapoli should also travel north in buoyant mood after making a seamless transition to life under Rafa's regime this season, with Benitez quickly winning hearts and minds at the San Paolo. The challenge now for the Azzurri is to keep pace with their direct rivals for the Serie A title, with a trip to Juventus the perfect opportunity to banish memories of their only league defeat this season, which came at leaders Roma.

7.29pmMind games have been a fun theme from Conte and Benitez in the build-up to this clash, with the Juve coach in particular on fine form. Conte has insisted that the pressure to claim victory is all on Benitez's shoulders this evening, responding to claims from Rafa that Napoli have only played at 70% of their full potential this season. A first meeting between the two coaches should tell us plenty about their standing early in the campaign.

7.32pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS! A quick look at both starting XIs shows that Giorgio Chiellini and Martin Caceres have both failed to recover from injury, with Conte forced to give summer signing Angelo Ogbonna a rare start in central defence. A full look at both lineups will follow in just a few moments.

7.34pmJUVE: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Ogbonna; Isla, Vidal, Pirlo, Pogba, Asamoah; Tevez, Llorente

7.36pmNAPOLI: Reina; Maggio, Fernandez, Albiol, Armero; Inler, Behrami; Callejon, Hamsik, Insigne; Higuain

7.38pmConte has decided to restore his tried and tested 3-5-2 formation tonight, after experimenting with 4-3-3 in midweek. That means Mauricio Isla comes in for Claudio Marchisio to play at wing-back, with Fernando Llorente continuing alongside Carlos Tevez in attack.

7.40pmNapoli meanwhile swap Dries Mertens and Goran Pandev for Lorenzo Insigne and Marek Hamsik tonight, in an exciting attacking unit also featuring Gonzalo Higuain and the in-form Jose Callejon. The Spaniard was a doubt to start but keeps his place in an advanced attacking position, where he has shone in Naples so far this season.

7.42pmPREDICTION! With so much attacking quality on show tonight it is hard to call who will shine in the battle of Argentine strikes, as Tevez comes up against Higuain. Defensive absences could hit Napoli hard tonight though, particularly with Llorente starting to show signs of form after a difficult start in Serie A. I'll go for the Spaniard to score tonight in a 2-1 win for the Old Lady.

7.45pmThe two teams are out at a raucous Juventus Arena as Buffon and Hamsik exchange pre-match pleasantries. North vs. South and second vs. third is just about ready to get underway, with the prize of reeling in leaders Roma up for grabs. This promises to be an absolute cracker.

1 minHere we go then in Turin, with Napoli kicking off shooting from left to right. The visitors quickly knock long in search of Callejon, but the ball trickles out and through to Buffon for a goal kick.

2 minGOAL! Juve 1-0 Napoli (Llorente)

4 minIt's a dream start for Juve as Llorente stabs home the opener from close range. The Spaniard reacted quickest after Vidal's drive from distance was deflected towards the back post by a flick from Tevez. Llorente pounced to beat his marker and calmly slot past Reina from eight yards, with the linesman's flag staying down despite a hint of offside. Advantage to the champions!

6 minBehrami shuts down Tevez with a cynical foul on the halfway line as Napoli look to regroup. The Juve Arena is rocking as Asamoah and Ogbonna keep possession from deep, happy to retain the ball after a terrific start.

9 minSAVE! Isla gets too much behind a curling cross that nearly creeps in at the far post, with Reina forced to turn behind. From the corner Pirlo sends a dangerous cross into the six-yard box at the second time of asking, which leads to Reina denying Bonucci after a header from point-blank range. That could have easily been 2-0, with Bonucci aiming straight at Reina following a flick at the far post from Pogba.

12 minInler smashes well wide with a speculative drive from distance as Napoli struggle to stamp their mark on the match. The visitors then earn a reprieve as Isla is flagged offside attempting to meet a trademark long diagonal pass from Bonucci.

15 minHiguain gives chase after Pirlo's poor header went back towards Buffon, with Bonucci shielding his goalkeeper and forcing the striker to take a whack in the ribs for his troubles. Napoli have been unable to get their creative players on the ball so far tonight.

18 minInler does enough to shut down Llorente as the striker attempts to collect a long ball over the top. Juve are playing with the confidence an early ball brings as Pirlo floats a diagonal over to Asamoah, who wins a free kick for handball against Maggio as he blocks the cross with a stray arm.

21 minTevez just fails to pick out Llorente as Armero comes across to intercept an attempted link-up between Juve's front two. Napoli then probe as Hamsik drops deep to pick up possession, before looking for Maggio on the overlap. Eventually Insigne gets a shot on target when the cross comes in, forcing Buffon to make a comfortable save at his near post.

24 minSHOT! The first signs of life from Higuain as he collects Armero's cross with a fantastic first touch, before rolling Ogbonna to strike on the turn. His powerful drive flashes just beyond the far post, but that is much more like it from the visitors.

27 minTevez takes up a dangerous position in space between Napoli's back four and midfield, using time on the ball to let fly from 30 yards. His low effort is parried by Reina, with Napoli quick to clear as Obgonna shows pace to sweep up any trouble at the other end.

30 minCHANCE! Asamoah should have put Juve two to the good but lacked composure from close range. The wing-back drifted into space at the far post and reacted quickly when Tevez's chip towards Pogba fell his way, but as the ball sat up could only lash wide of the target from a tight angle. Llorente wanted the ball squared and is furious, but Asamoah was right to take the shot on from there.

33 minPirlo is beginning to pull the strings as he floats a superb switch of play out to Isla on the far side, before collecting in the next passage of play and floating a cross towards Barzagli. This time Reina reads the danger though, coming quickly off his line to claim.

36 minWIDE! A superb piece of skill from Insigne sees him beat Pirlo to create space inside the penalty area, controlling before hitting a low drive just beyond Buffon's far post. The goalkeeper was at full stretch there and looked relieved as Insigne's effort just trickled wide. Napoli need more of that from the diminutive forward.

39 minCallejon and Maggio double-up to rob Pogba as Napoli look to spring forward, but Juve quickly retrieve possession as Barzagli hold onto the ball from deep. Juve will just want to maintain their slender advantage heading into the break now.

42 minLlorente beats Albiol to make contact with a flick at the near post, forcing Reina to show quick reactions and claim at the second time of asking. The Spaniard is enjoying this one after scoring for the second time this week.

45 minInsigne cuts inside and lets fly from 30 yards, hitting the roof of the net as Juve breathe a sigh of relief. Inler and Ogbonna then clash in midfield as the Napoli midfielder takes a kick on the knee, forcing a break in play with both men down.

45+1 minBoth men are back on the field as Pogba wins a corner kick for Juve after beating Albiol out wide, but Napoli are able to clear their lines easily when the cross comes in.

45+2 minHALF TIME: Juve 1-0 Napoli

8.36pmJuve lead the clash between second and third thanks to a blistering start, which saw Llorente break the deadlock after just two minutes. Napoli have recovered and looked a threat on the few occassions they have ventured forward, but there is plenty for Benitez to ponder at the break.

8.39pmBenitez will probably be asking for another look at the opening goal on a monitor after delivering his half-time team talk, with Llorente lurking in what looked like an offside position before scoring. The goal was given though, with the Spanish striker building on that start to give Albiol consistent problems in an encouraging display.

8.42pmJuve have largely controlled the midfield battle, with Napoli unable to shut down Pirlo and Pogba, allowing the hosts to dictate play. The Old Lady could be two ahead if Reina had not made a smart stop from Bonucci, who really should have done better with a header from close range.

8.45pmAfter a terrible start Napoli did show signs of life before the break, with Higuain and Insigne threatening with clever play on the counter. There is still plenty of time for the Azzurri to respond but they need Hamsik to show more, with the playmaker dropping too deep out of frustration and staying largely peripheral to the action so far tonight.

8.47pmBENCH WATCH! As we await the two teams there is just time to look at the options available in reserve, which are plentiful for both bosses. Napoli could call on Mertens, Pandev or Zapata in search of an equaliser, while Juve have Marchisio, Giovinco and Quagliarella waiting in the wings.

46 minJuve get the match back underway and are quickly pressed in their own half, with Buffon forced to smash clear. That is the kind of attitude Napoli need to restore parity after a sloppy first half.

50 minNapoli knock long for Higuain but have no joy as Bonucci clears for Isla, who eventually concedes a free kick after pushing Armero off the ball in tussle near the corner flag.

53 minOgbonna is muscled off the ball by Maggio but Napoli are soon back on the offensive as Armero drives down the opposite flank, prompting Conte to bark out instructions on the touchline. He wants more from Juve, as Vidal is hassled off the ball by Behrami

56 minSAVE! Insigne darts past Pirlo and draws a foul from Bonucci, who gets a yellow card and a one-match suspension for a late lunge on the forward. More importantly Napoli win a free kick just outside the penalty area, which Insigne floats towards the near post. Buffon reads his intention and parries behind for a corner kick.

59 minYELLOW CARD! Napoli are furious as a Behrami and Insigne are penalised in quick succession for soft fouls in midfield. Benitez remonstrates with the referee and soon after Ogbonna gets cautioned for blocking Reina's quick goal kick. A silly booking for the Juve defender.

62 minReina has just got a let-off after failing to deal properly with a scuffed strike from Vidal on the turn. His parry fell straight to Tevez from eight yards, but the Spanish stopper is up quickly and claims his attempt to claim a poacher's effort from close range.

65 minYELLOW CARD! Hamsik has just been cautioned for dissent after challenging the referee's decision to award a free kick for holding on Pirlo. The Napoli captain is keen to make the point that Pirlo tugged Higuain's shirt just moments earlier, but gets a booking for his appeals.

67 minCHANCE! Hamsik has just lashed into the side-netting after Napoli kept alive a move started by Callejon out wide. Anxiety is growing among Juve supporters, with their slender advantage still intact as Hamsik fails to force a save from Buffon from what was admittedly a tight angle.

70 minMISS! Vidal should really have just put the result beyond doubt following a superb exchange of passing between Tevez and Isla. The Chilean broke clear and just had to pick his spot from eight yards, but could only send a low effort just beyond the near post. Reina stood tall and forced a mistake from the midfielder, one he may regret if the Azzurri can find a late response.

72 minSUBSTITUTION: Benitez decides that he needs fresh legs in attack, with Callejon swapped by Dries Mertens. The Belgian was expected to start ahead of Insigne in some quarters, coming on in rich vein of form as he looks to have an impact for the Azzurri.

74 minGOAL! Juve 2-0 Napoli (Pirlo)

76 minPirlo has probably just settled this tight encounter with a trademark free kick, floating a superb effort into the top corner with style and precision. Vidal had been booked just moments before for a cynical lunge, but Pirlo showed terrific composure to send a perfectly-weighted effort beyond Reina and into the corner.

79 minGOAL! Juve 3-0 Napoli (Pogba)

82 minGame set and match for Juve as Pogba follows Pirlo's free kick with an absolute screamer, controlling to volley into the top corner with a measured volley from distance. Around 60 seconds before Insigne had kept Buffon honest with a low strike at this near post, but this clash is now over as a contest.

83 minRED CARD! Ogbonna has just left Juve with 10 men for the closing stages after cynically stopping Mertens driving forward. Is there time for Napoli to take advantage, with Zapata adding beef in place of Inler. Juve quickly react to that sending off with a change of their own, as Peluso comes on for Tevez.

86 minAnother late change for Juve as the vastly experienced Marchisio replaces Vidal, who limps the touchline to run the clock down that bit more.

89 minLlorente is withdrawn and gets a nice ovation from the Juve fans, maybe two goals in successive games can be the turning point for the Spaniard. Quagliarella will lead the line for the final few minutes, as the Bianconeri close out a huge victory.

90+2 minNapoli win a corner kick in stoppage time as Behrami forces Inler to clear behind, with Buffon comfortably saving a flick from Fernandez when the cross comes in. That just sums up a frustrating night for the Azzurri.

90+4 minInsigne keeps trying to force a breakthrough as he forces Buffon into another good save with a thump from 20 yards, with the little forward able to cross soon after only for Barzagli to head clear. That should just about do it.

90+5 minFULL TIME: Juve 3-0 Napoli

9.40pmBig celebrations from Conte and his players then, with Juve moving third and just a point behind league leaders Roma after earning a very important win over Napoli. Benitez's men were too slow to start tonight and paid a heavy price, with Llorente's opener followed by spectacular late strikes from Pirlo and Pogba.

9.43pmJuve are now within striking distance of unbeaten Roma and on this evidence will be confident of catching Rudi Garcia's side. A statement of intent from Conte's side then, who remain focused on keeping the Scudetto for a third successive season.

9.46pmThat will just about do it for our coverage from the marquee clash in Serie A this weekend, with Juve reaffirming their status as favourites to retain the Scudetto. Thank as always for joining Sports Mole tonight and be sure to stay tuned for comprehensive reaction from across Europe all night!

Juventus' Carlos Tevez celebrates after scoring the equaliser against Hellas Verona during their Serie A match on September 22, 2013
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Juventus11003033
2Napoli11003123
3AC Chievo VeronaChievo00000000
4AC Milan00000000
5Atalanta BCAtalanta00000000
6BeneventoBenevento00000000
7Bologna00000000
8Crotone00000000
9Fiorentina00000000
10Genoa00000000
11Inter Milan00000000
12Lazio00000000
13Roma00000000
14SPALSPAL00000000
15Sampdoria00000000
16SassuoloSassuolo00000000
17Torino00000000
18Udinese00000000
19Hellas VeronaHellas Verona100113-20
20CagliariCagliari100103-30
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