Juventus 4-3 Napoli: 5 Talking Points and Tactical Analysis
Juventus scraped past Napoli 4-3 in a topsy-turvy encounter at the Allianz Arena.
The hosts started on the front foot and dominated the ball in the early stages. However, their first goal came courtesy a brisk counter-attack which was finished off by Danilo.
A couple of minutes later, Gonzalo Higuain doubled the Old Lady’s lead. Sami Khedira hit the bar towards the end of the first half but the score remained 2-0 at the break.
Cristiano Ronaldo got in on the goal-scoring act just after the hour mark when his left-footed shot beat Alex Meret. At that point, the game seemed dead and buried.
Yet, Napoli had other ideas as they conjured an unlikely comeback. Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Hirving Lozano and Kostas Manolas made the net ripple and that set the stage for a grand-stand finish.
Unfortunately for the visitors, Kalidou Koulibaly put through his own net in stoppage time as Juventus kept their 100% record intact.
Here is a look at the talking points from the game:
#5 Juventus run riot on the left flank
Juventus decided to field a 4-3-3 system with Douglas Costa, Higuain and Ronaldo functioning as the front three. The midfield comprised of Blaise Matuidi, Khedira and Miralem Pjanic.
Thus, there was plenty of energy across the offensive and middle third and those attributes came to the fore, especially when the Old Lady attacked down the left flank.
Akin to many an occasion previously, Alex Sandro overlapped brilliantly and that created several instances of numerical superiority. In addition, Ronaldo’s propensity to come in-field and Matuidi’s tendency to drift into the vacated left-sided channel pinned back the visitors. Costa, too, switched flanks at times to influence proceedings.
And, as a result, three of Juventus’ goals came down the left wing.
The opener was scored after Costa scythed through the left flank on the break before teeing up Danilo. In the 19th minute, Matuidi assisted Higuain for the second goal after indulging in one of his trademark midfield runs.
The third goal came about after the hosts worked the ball superbly on the left, with Matuidi releasing Alex Sandro. The Brazilian then pulled the ball back expertly for Ronaldo, who fired home from inside the box.
Throughout the game, the Bianconeri looked threatening in attacking positions and the above even powered them to a 3-0 lead. And, a major chunk of their offensive prowess on the night came down the left flank, where they simply tore Napoli to shreds.