Dries Mertens and Federico Chiesa both scored as Juventus and Napoli played out a frenetic 1-1 draw at the Allianz Stadium.
In an open and frantic first half with Lorenzo Insigne and Chiesa acting as the driving forces for their sides on the counter-attack, it was the visitors who took a surprise lead against the run of play.
Insigne’s dinked ball found Matteo Politano who laid the ball off to Mertens to drill his low shot into the bottom corner. Wojciech Szczesny got a hand to it, ultimately preventing Matthijs de Ligt from making a goal-line clearance, and Napoli were in front.
Juventus were wasteful in front of goal, registering just one shot on target, and Napoli continued to threaten. Szczesny was called into action in the 37th minute, tipping Piotr Zielinski’s 25-yard strike over the bar.
Juventus’ pressure eventually counted as the hosts grabbed an equaliser in the 53rd minute. A cross landed at the feet of Italy international Chiesa and he curled his left-footed strike into the bottom corner.
The shots continued to pour in from both sides. In the 61st minute, Weston McKennie’s vicious strike from outside the box veered wide moments before Szczesny got his entire body behind a dangerous close-range shot from Mertens.
Substitute Moise Kean headed a fine Juan Cuadrado cross over the bar in added time, but neither side were able to find a decisive winner.
The result means Napoli remain third in Serie A on 40 points. Juventus, meanwhile, extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to seven matches but remain in fifth and 11 points off top spot.
TALKING POINT – Has Insigne simply got bored of Napoli?
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A point means Napoli can vaguely be considered in the title hunt, while Juventus are blindly hoping to secure a top-four finish as they continue to cope with life without Cristiano Ronaldo and a lack of funds to be considered elite. Is it fact both sides will ultimately settle for a point really good enough from either team - and for Napoli in particular right now?
Napoli’s captain and one-club man Lorenzo Insigne is set to move to MLS club Toronto FC in the summer which may suggest he no longer feels he is at a club who will challenge for trophies and would rather take the money and the adulation of the Toronto FC support over another turgid scrap for a European spot before, being part of a team who get knocked out at an uninspiring point of a continental competition.
Thursday night's result means Napoli are six points off top spot, which could stretch to nine if Inter win their game in hand, and nobody really believes the Naples club are in this title race. A mentality overhaul and more funds are required at the club if they are to re-live their former glories and be attractive enough to retain their best players.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Federico Chiesa
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The Juventus forward was the driving force in the majority of the hosts' attacks and his goal was well taken. Juventus lack any real drive along their front line without him and the 24-year-old proved yet again why he is regularly sought after by the top European clubs. Like in Insigne's case, you wonder how long he will want to slog it out at Juventus for.
Juventus: Szczesny (7), Cuadrado (6), De Ligt (6), Rugani (6), Sandro (6), McKennie (6), Rabiot (6), Locatelli (6), Chiesa (8), Bernardeschi (6), Morata (6) Subs: Bentancur (6), Dybala (6), Kean (N/A), De Sciglio (N/A), Kulusevski (N/A)
22' - GOAL! MERTENS FIRES NAPOLI IN FRONT! Insigne's dinked ball over the top finds Politano. He lays it off to Mertens who drills his shot into the bottom corner. Szczesny got a hand on it but it evaded De Ligt, who could not clear it off the line, and Napoli have a surprise lead!
53' - GOAL! CHIESA EQUALISES FOR JUVENTUS! Juventus' pressure finally pays off and Chiesa finds the net! McKennie's cross into the box is headed clear straight to the Italy international and he curls a left-footed strike, which takes a deflection off Lobotka, into the bottom corner. Game on!
90+4' - WHAT A CHANCE! Cuadrado delivers a delightful cross into the box and Kean rises highest to meet it... but the former Everton and Juventus man nods it over the bar!