The napoletano has passed from “Di Matteo” in UCL to watch the Tv show “Don Mateo”
A masterful midfield display from Arturo Vidal lifted Juventus to a magnificent 3-0 victory over Napoli. The Bianconeri dominated proceedings from start to finish but had to wait until the second half to make their supremacy count. Bonucci broke the deadlock after deflecting Vucinic’s close range strike past De Sanctis, Vidal then doubled the lead with a fine solo effort and substitute Quagliarella rounded off a memorable evening by lashing the ball home after being played in by Del Piero. Antonio Conte opted to revert back to the 3-5-2 formation used in this season’s earlier meeting between the sides at the San Paolo. Lichtsteiner returned from suspension to take his place on the right-hand side of the midfield five while Borriello, making his 300th professional career appearance, partnered Vucinic in attack.
The Bianconeri started strongly and instantly gained the upper hand in the midfield battle. Vidal and Pirlo got to work on Inler and Gargano, denying the Partenopei duo any time or space to dictate the play. And this fierce pressure almost paid off inside the opening five minutes when Pirlo’s cross squirmed agonisingly across the face of goal, but neither Borriello nor Bonucci were able to apply the finishing touch at the back post. The visitors, who came into the game on the back of a nine-match unbeaten run, then began to string a succession of passes together and went close when Hamsik combined with Lavezzi. However, the formidable presence of Buffon scampering off his line proved enough to put the Slovakian off his stride at the vital moment. Juventus then carved out a host of half-chances to take the lead before the interval. Pirlo’s direct free-kick from distance whistled narrowly over the bar before Vidal glanced a header wide of the far post.
Pirlo was again at the heart of proceedings towards the end of the first half, stinging the fingertips of De Sanctis with a fiercely struck shot that arrowed towards the bottom corner. Any concerns surrounding the threat posed by a potentially rejuvenated Napoli were instantly laid to rest at the start of a combative second period. Whenever the Partenopei looked to keep the ball for a prolonged period of time, they were promptly shut down by Juve’s heavy pressing tactics. And the hosts had their best opportunity to break the deadlock five minutes into the restart as Bonucci turned the ball goalwards from close range, only to see De Sanctis pull off a magnificent reaction stop to keep the scores level. The defender, however, only had to wait three more minutes for his next chance. Pirlo’s free-kick fell to the feet of Barzagli who toe-poked the ball back into the area. Vucinic was the first to react, seeing his effort take a deflection off Bonucci and fly past De Sanctis into the top corner for the centre-back’s second goal of the season.
The goal appeared to give Juve even more impetus and instead of sitting back and protecting their lead, Conte’s men stuck to their mantra and continued to pile on the pressure going forward, eroding Napoli’s resolve with every purposeful attack. It was only a matter of time before the hosts redoubled their lead, and the moment was more than worth the wait. Vidal drove into the penalty area and jinked his way past Campagnaro before drilling a left-footed strike into the far corner to send the home support into ecstasy. Having previously introduced Caceres and Quagliarella at the expense of Lichtsteiner and Borriello, Conte opted to bring on Del Piero for Vucinic in the final ten minutes. And the captain’s impact was instant, gliding away from his marker before teeing up Quagliarella who caught De Sanctis off guard with an unstoppable close-range thunderbolt. Juventus saw out the remaining seven minutes plus stoppage time by keeping the ball and continuing to frustrate their opposition. Orsato’s final whistle sparked scenes of celebration, with the priceless victory serving to close the gap on league leaders Milan to just two points.
GOALS: Bonucci 53, Vidal 75, Quagliarella 83
JUVENTUS Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner (Caceres 66), Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, De Ceglie; Borriello (Quagliarella 70), Vucinic (Del Piero 83) Substitutes not used: Storari, Pepe, Giaccherini, Matri. Manager: Conte
NAPOLI De Sanctis; Campagnaro, Cannavaro, Aronica; Maggio (Dossena 25), Gargano, Inler (Pandev 62), Zuniga; Hamsik (Dzemaili 71); Lavezzi, Cavani Substitutes not used: Rosati, Fernandez, Britos, Vargas. Manager: Mazzarri
REFEREE: Orsato ASSISTANTS: Di Liberatore, Tonolini
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Brighi BOOKINGS: Lichtsteiner 37, Vidal 39, De Ceglie 45, Gargano 63, Cannavaro 68, Marchisio 73