Napoli strike late to edge narrow Serie A victory over Juventus

By Sports Desk March 03, 2024

Giacomo Raspadori’s late goal earned a Napoli a second-straight Serie A win for the first time since September as they recorded a 2-1 victory over Juventus, who lost further ground on the league leaders as a result.

A frantic first-half was on show for supporters inside the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium but Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s strike three minutes before the break put Napoli a goal up at half-time.

Excitement levels in the second period did not drop and Juventus thought they would take a share of the spoils when Federico Chiesa’s beauty levelled things up.

However, Giacomo Raspadori’s rebound from Victor Osimhen’s missed penalty gave Napoli a second win on the bounce, while – as a result – Juventus dropped further behind leaders Inter Milan.

The visitors were first to test the waters and Dusan Vlahovic aimed and fired just wide of the far post in the 11th minute.

Napoli came closest to opening the scoring when Frank Anguissa was denied by Wojciech Szczesny from six yards and Matteo Politano’s follow up was also kept out by the Poland goalkeeper.

The game was already teeing up to be an end-to-end thriller, this time Chiesa picked out Samuel Iling-Junior but his first-time effort went marginally wide.

Juventus came within inches of breaking the deadlock in the 34th minute when Vlahovic latched onto Chiesa’s through ball, he dinked it over the onrushing Alex Meret and onto the post.

Back came Napoli and Mathias Olivera’s goalbound header was cleared off the line by Alex Sandro with the score somehow still at 0-0.

Three minutes before the break, Napoli had a breakthrough. Moments after Anguissa had a shot blocked, a defensive header fell into the path of Kvaratskhelia, who proved too powerful for Szczesny and volleyed the ball into the bottom corner.

Juventus could have had an equaliser almost straight away after Daniele Rugani capitalised on some loose possession in the home defence, the ball fell kindly to Vlahovic but he could not take advantage and skied his effort over the crossbar.

Chances continued to come for Serbia international Vlahovic but he failed to find the back of the net, this time he broke the line but tamely hit his shot into the firm grasp of Meret.

Juventus went in search of an equaliser, Southampton loanee Carlos Alcaraz decided to have a crack this time but his shot deflected kindly for Meret.

The visitors found an equaliser in the 82nd minute when Chiesa found space just inside the box and cracked a daisycutter into the bottom-left corner to level things up at one apiece.

Napoli were given the chance to retake the lead after Osimhen was brought down inside the box by Joseph Nonge, with referee Maurizio Mariani awarding a penalty following a VAR check.

From the resulting spot-kick, Osimhen saw his strike saved by Szczesny but Raspadori was on hand to smash home his rebound via the post to save the blushes of the Nigeria striker.

Juventus missed a golden opportunity to snatch an equaliser at the death when Chiesa’s driven cross was diverted over the crossbar by Rugani with the goal at his mercy.

Napoli held on for maximum points to move up to seventh and leave their second-placed opponents 12 points off the lead.

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