Buffon praises Juventus defence for Napoli win

Turin, Feb 14 (IANS) Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has heaped praise on his defence for pulling off a 1-0 win over Napoli in the Serie A.

Juventus replaced Napoli at the top of the league table after Saturday’s win, which came courtesy of a late Simone Zaza strike. The visitors managed to get only one shot on target during the whole game.

“With regard to Barza (Andrea Barzagli), I’d be tempted to rip up his identity card. Even if he’s 35 years of age, I’d never hesitate once about playing him in the most important match of the season so far. The same goes for Leo (Bonucci)and Giorgio (Chiellini), who complete what is a truly formidable and tight-knit department of our team,” Buffon was quoted as saying by the club’s website.

“I’m fortunate to be playing just behind a group of incredibly talented defenders, who are, of course, helped by the hard work put in by the midfielders and strikers in front of them.”

The 38-year-old Italian World Cup winner said had they lost the game it would have been very tough to claw their way back but added there are still 13 matches to go and anything can happen.

“With a quarter of an hour remaining, we really had to dig deep. A draw would not have been a bad outcome, but I always kept hope that a magical spark from somewhere could see us take all three points,” he said.

“Had we lost tonight, it would have been tough going to claw our way back. Needless to say, there are still 13 matches to go and plenty of opportunities for twists and turns over the remainder of the campaign.”

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