NAPOLI 3 Hamsik 50, Quagli 72, Lavezzi 88
This was the game that Juventus had to win if they had any real hope of ending the season in a top five spot. There was a mere three points separating these two sides as they went into this game, but the Bianconeri did the one thing they have been prone to lately and threw away the lead letting the Azzurri leapfrog them and take sixth place. The Old Lady’s season just keeps going from bad to worse as they drop to seventh and with eight games to go, any chance to play in Europe is also starting to slipping away.
The game started off rather positively for the Bianconeri and they opened the scoring on the seventh minute from a Giorgio Chiellini header. It was poor marking on behalf of the home side as they gave him the time and space to get his head onto the ball and direct it towards goal. Napoli reacted straight away but didn’t seem to have the belief or creativity to produce an end product. The first half was filled with niggling fouls and showed signs of frustration as yellow cards were shown to Alessandro Del Piero and Mauro Camoranesi – the latter who is now suspended for the match against Atalanta. Napoli began to really respond after conceding so early and sparked to life with a shot on goal by Fabio Quagliarella from long range and then a shot by Ezequiel Lavezzi which was palmed away by Alex Manninger.
The second half almost started with an immediate equaliser when Jonathan Zebina brought down Quagliarella in the area, a yellow card was then shown to the Frenchman and gifted Napoli an opportunity to even things up from the resulting penalty. Much to the relief of the Juve tifosi, Marek Hamsik, who had been given the responsibility of taking the spot kick, saw it come back of the crossbar and was cleared to safety. However the Azzurri had grown in self belief and were displaying more initiative, whatever Walter Mazzarri had said at half time had clearly done the trick when on the 50th minute Hamsik got on the end of a Quagliarella pin point cross and headed it home to atone for his earlier miss.
The second half showed a Juve side that lacked any innovation and creativity, it was no surprise then when Diego was brought on in the 61st minute for a very frustrated Camoranesi. Just three minutes after the substitution, Juve had a great counter attack but the final shot by Del Piero was a weak one and was easy to save for Morgon De Sanctis. Worse was still to come for The Old Lady as increasing pressure and persistent play by Mazzarri’s side resulted in a second goal and this time by Quagliarella. Napoli were not done humiliating Juve as a third goal was yet to come, and it was Lavezzi who had the privilege of making it 3-0 and further adding to Juve’s downfall.