Cristiano Ronaldo was eager to avoid a season without UEFA Champions League football when Juventus welcomed Napoli to Turin on Wednesday. The Bianconeri needed a win to stay in the top four of Serie A, as Andrea Pirlo and co hoped to bounce back from their 2-2 draw against Torino.
Juventus started the game 12 points behind Serie A leaders Inter Milan. With the title almost out of reach, it was clear that anything other than three points against Napoli would be catastrophic, as the Partenopei were fifth in the table, tied on points with the Bianconeri.
Pirlo made two changes to the team that drew against Torino, bringing in Gianluigi Buffon for Wojciech Szczesny and Adrien Rabiot for Dejan Kulusevski. Cristiano Ronaldo continued to lead the line, desperate to increase his lead in the race for the Serie A Golden Boot. However, with six wins in their last seven games in all competitions, Napoli came into the game in red hot form, desperate to pile further misery on their bitter rivals.
Cristiano Ronaldo gave Juventus the perfect start to the game
Juventus looked good in the opening exchanges and came close to scoring in the second minute when Cristiano Ronaldo missed an easy opportunity to put his team ahead. However, the Portuguese international soon had a second bite of the cherry.
Federico Chiesa showed fantastic skills on the wing before pulling it back for the Juventus No. 7 in the box in the 13th minute. Cristiano Ronaldo then broke away from his marker and put the ball into the far bottom corner, scoring his 32nd goal of the season.
The home side threatened to double their lead, but the game went into the break with Juventus leading 1-0. After the interval, Napoli were very quick off the blocks and piled the pressure on the Bianconeri. However, Pirlo’s players managed to weather the storm, as Paulo Dybala came off the bench and doubled the lead for his team.
Napoli won a penalty in the dying minutes of the game which was converted by Lorenzo Insigne. It resulted in a nervy end to the game for the home side, but the game ended 2-1.
On that note, here are the best tweets from an intriguing contest at the Allianz Stadium.