Napoli vs Juventus Recap with Sempre! SSC Napoli and Juvefc.com
Juventus proved that they are far from finished with a vintage 1-0 victory over Napoli yesterday at the San Paolo in Naples. Going into the game, Napoli had a four point advantage which was subsequently cut down to one after the defeat. It was an exciting match for sure, and for all of the talk about Juve's defensive struggles, when it mattered most they were able to keep the partenopei out of the net. To dissect the match and what it means for the standings, I interviewed two people who know the teams very well. Rav from juvefc.com (twitter: @juvefcdotcom) and Ken from Sempre! SSC Napoli (twitter: @NapoliStats).
Claudio: So Rav, what did you think of Juve's performance in the match?
Rav (Juventus): Brilliant display, controlled throughout. Most impressed with Allegri's switching of the tactics and the defence. Napoli had plenty of the possession, lots of great passing and movement, but at no stage did it look like they would really get through the back line. The attack moved really well, utilizing the pace of Douglas Costa and Higuain's ability to hold up play- In some ways, It was a similar kind of display to the one against Milan where we were controlled at the back and played a great sucker punch.
Claudio: Ken, your turn, what did you think about Napoli's performance?
Ken (Napoli):I thought Napoli were OK. They were able to dictate the play most of the match, and had 21 shots attempted, but we were missing the final ball. I thought we limited Juventus’ chances, but the one clear chance they had they buried. All in all I’m not upset at how we played, and thought we probably deserved a goal, so more frustrated than anything else.
Claudio: Sticking with Napoli, who did you think was Man of the Match for your team?
Ken (Napoli): For me, it was Jorginho. He has grown this season(as well as last season) into a top 3 Regista in the world. He was clearly dictating all of Napoli’s build up, and didn’t put a pass wrong the whole match. A case can be made for Allan as well. He was very disruptive to Juventus’ build up, constantly using his tenacity to break up play or cause a bad pass.
Claudio: Rav, who was Juve's Man of the Match?
Rav (Juventus): It would be unfair of me to give it to one player when so many players performed so well - Buffon for his superb save on Insigne, Asamoah for nullifying Callejon and containing him for much of the game, Costa for his runs, Higuain for the goal. All superb.
Claudio: It was definitely an important victory for Juventus, what does it mean for the title race?
Rav (Juventus): I still think its too early to say anything about the title race. there are three really strong contenders and Roma are starting to gain ground as well. If Juve put together a run like they did a few years back, they could dominate things. If Napoli remain at full fitness they have a strong chance - Inter only have the league to focus on and Spalletti was their best signing of the summer, so they will have a big say as well.
Claudio: Ken what did this defeat mean for the title race in your opinion?
Ken (Napoli): Well, in the short term it makes things extremely tight. Regardless of how Inter perform tomorrow, the top of the table will see the top 3 teams separated by a maximum of 2 points. Longer term I think it doesn’t change much for Napoli. We hadn’t lost a game in Series A since February, so if we can continue that kind of pace we have been, we will be very near the top at the end of the season
Claudio: As a Napoli fan, Ken, what was the thing that impressed you most about Juventus?
Ken (Napoli): Juventus showed yesterday what makes them 6-time defending champions. Allegri especially has shown that he will do whatever it takes to win, tactically. He was willing to sit back, absorb pressure, and hit on the counter. Getting that goal when they did made him cement his position tactically as well. Juventus were able to covert the biggest chance they got and they were able to parlay that into a victory.
Claudio: Rav what impressed you most about the opponents, Napoli?
Rav (Juventus): They're such a cohesive unit now, much improved on previous seasons. A sharp attack, the defence looks tight and organised. they have plenty to be proud of. I like the way Sarri plays, but it's at a breakneck speed and they never give up.
Claudio: Finally, who did you each think were title favorites before the start of the match? Did this result change your opinion of the title race and how would you rank Napoli, Juventus, Roma and Inter from 1-4 as far as each of their chances?
Ken (Napoli): I think Juventus will continue to be title favorites until this streak they are on is over. I think all Napoli fans know this is our best chance to win a Scudetto, and that hasn’t changed after this match. We still have amazing quality and play wonderful football, and one loss shouldn’t derail the work the squad has done. My superstition won’t allow me to rank them, but given the way this season has gone, I think all 4 teams are closer than a top 4 has been in years, and it should make for an amazing season!
Rav (Juventus): Until the table says otherwise, I always believe Juve have a chance of winning the title. The summer was disappointing but i felt we were just waiting for the side to click. The race feels more open now that we've seen some of the opponents in action - As i mentioned before, the other sides are still in the running - Napoli/Juve/Inter/Roma are the best sides in Serie A at the moment with a special mention for Lazio who are doing great things at the moment.
1. Juve 2. Napoli 3. Roma 4. Inter
Claudio: Thanks a lot guys. In the last question you can see the superstition from a side that hasn't made it over the hump yet vs the confidence of a team who has done it six years in a row. Should be a great race to the end in Serie A. If you've enjoyed this, as always please give a follow to: