Napoli humiliate Juventus 5-1 in top-table clash

NAPLES, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Leader Napoli snapped Juventus’ eight-match winning streak in Serie A in spectacular style on Friday, handing Massimiliano Allegri’s men a humiliating 5-1 thrashing on Friday at the top of the table clash.

Napoli moved 10 points clear at the top of the standings with 47 points from 18 games. Juventus slipped to third but are tied on 37 points with second-placed AC Milan, who have one game to play.

“The team played a great game, kept the tempo high,” Napoli manager Luciano Spalletti told DAZN.

“It was a beautiful night, especially since there was a big crowd. The Neapolitans are always behind us, but this team knew how to recreate the love for these colours.”

Napoli took the lead after 14 minutes, after Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny saved a close-range bicycle kick from winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, but was unable to deny Victor Osimhen’s follow-up with a header.

Juventus had a good chance to come back soon after, but Ángel Di María hit the bar with an impressive individual effort from outside the box.

Juve striker Arkadiusz Milik tried to find a way past Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret with a header five minutes later, however his shot was not strong enough to cause trouble.

Instead, Osimhen set up Kvaratskhelia for Napoli’s second, sending a precise cross into empty space for the Georgian to put the finishing touch and double his lead in the 39th minute.

Di María got Juventus back into the game three minutes later when he made it 2-1 with a low shot to the left corner that left Meret stranded between the posts.

Defender Amir Rrahmani re-established a two-goal lead for Napoli 10 minutes into the second half with a powerful first-touch touch after a corner.

Osimhen could have made it 4-1 from close range minutes later, but his shot went just over the crossbar.

But the striker managed to get back on the scoresheet in the 65th minute with his second header of the night and his 12th Serie A goal of the season.

Substitute Eljif Elmas sealed the win for Napoli in the 72nd minute.

“This was a deserved defeat, because we went into the game with less energy,” Allegri said after his 450th Serie A game as manager.

“The situations we conceded were also quite easy to read and predict, but sometimes luck is on your side and sometimes it’s not. We tried to turn it around at half time, but Napoli deserved it (to win).”

It was the first time in almost 20 years that Juventus had conceded five goals in a Serie A game. The last time they were subjected to such a rout was a 5-1 defeat by Pescara in May 1993.

Napoli, seeking their first Serie A title since 1990, are now unbeaten in their last three league games against Juventus.

In the next round of games, Napoli travel to Salernitana on January 21, while Juve host sixth-placed Atalanta a day later.

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