Juventus 4-3 Napoli: 5 Talking Points and Tactical Analysis
#4 Juventus batter Napoli in the first half
Towards the end of last season, Juventus and Massimiliano Allegri came in for criticism for lacking the fluency synonymous with top-drawer teams across Europe. Moreover, the latter’s departure in the summer prompted several to believe that the Old Lady would start off sluggishly in the 2019-20 season.
However, after dispatching Parma last weekend, the Bianconeri turned the screw against Napoli and they did so in some style.
The first half saw the hosts absolutely pound at the visitors’ defensive door and they breached it twice in the space of three minutes and nineteen seconds.
Yet, Juventus had imposed themselves upon the game much before they made the net bulge.
In the opening minutes, Ronaldo created space for himself and stung Meret’s palms with a left-footed drive.
Thereafter, they controlled possession and starved Napoli of the ball, drawing them out beautifully and ultimately, opening the scoring courtesy the proverbial sucker punch.
The away side committed too many men forward for an offensive corner and Juventus exploited that to the tee. After winning the ball just outside their own penalty box, the hosts raced forward with Douglas Costa leading the charge.
The Brazilian then cut inside in the Napoli penalty box and fed Danilo, who fittingly started the flowing counter-attacking move. The full-back connected decently with his compatriot’s cut-back and beat Meret, although the keeper got his left boot to the shot.
A few minutes later, Higuain popped up with a sublime piece of skill to flummox Koulibaly before firing past the goalkeeper with the outside of his right boot.
Though the Old Lady managed only two goals in the first period, the score-line could’ve painted a much grimmer picture for the visitors.
Khedira was guilty of wasting a gilt-edged opportunity after being set up by Higuain while the German also hit the crossbar with a powerful shot.
At the start of the season, quite a few were sceptical of Juventus’ ability to hit the ground running, especially considering the illness to Maurizio Sarri and the number of new faces in the squad.
Yet, when last year’s runners-up came calling, the Old Lady stood up to the task and produced a scintillating first half display.Modified 21 Dec 2019, 00:20 IST