Juve win top clash to open five-point lead

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Ju­ven­tus beat third placed Napoli 2-1 yes­ter­day evening to open a five-point lead at the top ahead of the re­main­ing matches of the 11th round be­tween to­day and to­mor­row.

The re­sult also means that Napoli re­main in third place, seven points be­hind the lead­ers.

The first half was char­ac­terised by some high ten­sion es­pe­cially with for­mer Napoli striker Gon­zalo Higuain fac­ing his for­mer team-mates.

It was the Ar­gen­tinian striker who even­tu­ally de­cided the match scor­ing the win­ner on 71 min­utes though he failed to cel­e­brate scor­ing.

In the open­ing half, there were only a few chances, but In­signe wasted a good team move with a poor cross.

Higuain saw a shot at the near post blocked by a des­per­ate Chiriches tackle while at the other end, Al­lan’s ef­fort was well smoth­ered by Buf­fon.

Chiellini was in­jured and was re­placed by Juan Cuadrado.

The match ex­ploded early in the sec­ond half. Ju­ven­tus took the lead in the 50th minute as Ghoulam mis­kicked his clear­ance which fell into the path of Bonucci who first timed into the net from close in.

Four min­utes later, Napoli re­sponded with an equaliser when In­signe set Calle­jon who made no mis­take from three me­tres.

But in the 71st minute, Higuain was favoured by a loose ball in the area and made no mis­take beat­ing the help­less Reina with a fierce grounder.

Ear­lier, Fiorentina did the bare min­i­mum to win with a Nikola Kalinic penalty, but it never looked like Bologna were down to 10 men for an hour.

The Derby dell’Ap­pen­nino saw the hosts strug­gling without Mattia De­stro, Domenico Mai­etta, Mar­ios Oikonomou and Vasilis Toro­sidis. The Vi­ola lost Ma­tias Ve­cino in the warm-up, so Mi­lan Badelj stepped in to a very cre­ative mid­field.

Fiorentina were un­beaten against Bologna in their last four meet­ings, se­cur­ing three vic­to­ries and a stale­mate.

He­lander had a great chance within three min­utes, his glanc­ing header go­ing just wide while Josip Ili­cic had a shot on to the near post.

Ili­cic again hit the wood­work for the sec­ond time in the open­ing 26 min­utes, his free kick curl­ing on to the cross­bar.

Gastaldello, the Bologna cap­tain, was then sent off and Fiorentina awarded a penalty when he bla­tantly pulled Kalinic from be­hind. The same Kalinic had to take the penalty twice, but scored con­fi­dently.

In the sec­ond half, after a good start, Fiorentina faded and Bologna hit back strongly al­though it was a vain ef­fort to save the match.

Photo: AP

Ju­ven­tus’ Gon­zalo Higuain, left, and Napoli’s Lorenzo In­signe go for the ball dur­ing the first half of yes­ter­day’s match in Turin

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.