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Juventus logo
Serie A | Gameweek 15
Dec 8, 2023 at 7.45pm UK
Allianz Stadium
Napoli logo
Juventus
1 - 0
Napoli
Gatti (51')
Bremer (58'), Locatelli (90+4')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Kvaratskhelia (45+1'), Jesus (63'), Skiri Oestigaard (85'), Osimhen (90+4')

Federico Gatti's header sinks Napoli and sends Juventus back to Serie A summit

Gatti's header sinks Napoli and sends Juve back to Serie A summit
© Reuters
Federico Gatti scores the only goal as Juventus beat Napoli 1-0 at the Allianz Stadium to go top of Serie A.

Juventus have returned to the Serie A summit after Federico Gatti's second-half header saw them beat Napoli 1-0 in Turin.

The result marks a fifth 1-0 win in seven games for Massimiliano Allegri's side, who now move above Inter Milan for the time being, before the Nerazzurri face Udinese tomorrow.

Gatti was the match-winner last weekend, and repeated the trick here, albeit, in slightly less dramatic circumstances following his 94th-minute strike at Monza.

Napoli had the best of the first-half action, with Khvicha Kvaratskhelia guilty of missing a gilt-edged opportunity, before Juventus started the second period strongly and found the all-important goal and held on in classic Allegri style.

A third straight defeat for new manager Walter Mazzarri leaves Napoli outside the top four, and 14 points worse off than they were at the same stage last season.

After Andrea Cambiaso had the first chance for the hosts inside 10 minutes, but skewed his effort wide, Napoli almost struck the opener with two half-chances of their own.

Giovanni Di Lorenzo's poor cross almost completely caught Wojciech Szczesny out at his front post, but the Juve keeper managed to just about keep the ball from crossing the line, before Matteo Politano flashed an effort wide when cutting in from the left.

The host's only real clear chance of the first half fell to Dusan Vlahovic, but the Serb struggled to get proper control of the ball, allowing Natan to get in the way of his eventual effort on goal, before Weston McKennie fired over from an overhead kick on the rebound.

Napoli were then guilty of two huge misses, firstly from Kvaratskhelia just before the half-hour mark, as the entire Juve defence were dragged over towards Victor Osimhen, and the striker held the ball up expertly before finding the Georgian, but through one-on-one, he inexplicably fired over the top.

More suspect defending from the Bianconeri gifted Napoli another opening, as skipper Di Lorenzo found himself with the goal at his mercy after Bremer's clearance cannoned back off Gatti, but Szczesny was on hand to make a fantastic stop.

After surviving some major scares in the opening 45 minutes, Juventus took advantage early in the second half by taking supremacy of the game themselves, starting with Vlahovic striking the post, and even though McKennie was flagged off in the build-up, replays suggested it was incredibly tight.

However, within two minutes, Allegri's side found their goal, and it was once again from an unlikely source, and the same source as last week's winner, as Gatti rose highest above Di Lorenzo and Amir Rrahmani to head home Cambiaso's cross for his third of the season.

With Allegri often the master of grinding out 1-0 wins, Juventus almost instantly dropped significantly deeper to protect their lead, despite there still being the majority of the second half still to play.

Both Politano and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa had half-chances that never threatened the goal, but Juve's game plan was largely working.

However, the home crowd were given an almighty scare on 70 minutes, when Szczesny's casual pass out was intercepted by Politano, who found Osimhen, and with the goalkeeper in no man's land, the Nigerian rounded him and slotted into the empty net, only to see the linesman's flag deny him.

The Old Lady continued to drop deeper and deeper, with six or seven players defending their six-yard box alongside Szczesny, as Napoli failed to penetrate both aerially and through the lines.

In five minutes of added time, the Partenopei could not muster any more opportunities, as Allegri tactics worked yet again against one of the other big clubs in Serie A, even if it was not pretty.

The result leaves Juve a point clear of Inter having played a game more, but they will play first again next weekend too, when they travel to Genoa on Friday.

Napoli's difficulties continue with another defeat, and they need to ensure that they are not beaten by two goals or more when facing Braga in midweek, otherwise they will be eliminated from the Champions League.

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