Turin (Italy), Feb 14 (IANS) Simone Zaza’s 88th-minute sizzler proved the difference between Serie A’s top two sides, as the forward’s powerful strike sealed victory over Napoli at Juventus Stadium. The success saw the Italian football champions move above their opponents into first place.
During an even first-half on Saturday, Napoli saw more of the ball (55 percent) but Juventus fashioned a greater number of shots (nine to the visitors’ two), although the hosts had goalkeeper Gigi Buffon’s heroics to thank for preventing Gonzalo Higuain and Raul Albiol from opening the scoring.
Both defences remained on top for most of the second period too until Zaza unleashed a fine effort past Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina to secure a 15th consecutive success that propels Massimiliano Allegri’s into top spot for the first time this season.
As can often be the case in big matches, the two teams spent the early stages sizing one another up before getting away the game’s first shots on goal.
Juventus’ winger Juan Cuadrado forced Reina into a routine save within the quarter-hour. Then in the 20th minute, midfielder Paul Pogba dispatched a ferocious free-kick past the Spanish stopper’s post.
For Napoli’s part, they were seeing plenty of possession without creating many meaningful chances.
Juventus have 57 points from 25 matches, a point more than Napoli.