Juve win top clash to open five-point lead
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.
Juventus’ Gonzalo Higuain, left, and Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne go for the ball during the first half of yesterday’s match in Turin