Juventus seem to be very close to earning their eighth consecutive national title. After holding on to the pressure, the Old Lady beat Napoli 2-1 away from home on this Sunday and fired in the lead of the Italian Championship. Pjanic and Emre Can scored for Juve as Callejón discounted for the home team. Lorenzo Insigne wasted the chance to tie the game in the final minutes by hitting a penalty on Szczesny’s post.
With the away win against the main contender in the title fight, Juventus reach the 72 points in the isolated leadership of the Championship. They are 16 advantage over Napoli. With another 12 rounds ahead (or 36 points in play), a turnaround seems increasingly unlikely.
Despite the great away victory, Juve did not have a great performance. In the first half, the Old Lady was favored by Napoli’s goalkeeper Meret’s dismissal, who led to a straight red card to stop Cristiano Ronaldo and opened the scoring with a foul at 27. At 38, Emre Can headed home from a good corner.
In the second half, everything changed. Napoli came back better, and Pjanic was sent off due to a second yellow for putting his hand on the ball. Surely it gave a numeric balance to the duel, and Callejón discounted at the 60th. After the goal, it was only pressuring from the hosts until Insigne had the chance to tie from a penalty kick at 84th. However, he wasted not only the penalty but also Napoli’s hopes to stop Juve, as he hit the post.
Cristiano Ronaldo was decisive in provoking the expulsion of Meret and, consequently, the foul that led to Pjanic’s first-half goal from Juve. However, he saw Quagliarella reach the 19 goals by scoring twice in Sampdoria’s victory over SPAL on Sunday and equaling him in the Italian League top scorers.
It seems that it’s over for Napoli. It’s only a matter of when will Juve lift the Serie A, and not an if anymore.