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Juventus 3-1 Napoli: Juve continue to win at home thanks to Pereyra, Sturaro, Pepe and Buffon

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Wait a second ... You mean to tell me that the black and white team had nothing to play for and the blue team was playing for a chance to compete in Europe next season?

Admit it, if you just found out that Juve were more than 15 points ahead of Napoli, you would have asked that question too. When I watched the match, it looked like Juventus were the more incisive, more determined, and more convincing side of the two. Maybe they didn't want to lose their streak at home; or maybe the substitutes wanted to show their coach that they too deserve minutes against Barcelona; or maybe all of the players have bought into the idea that at Juve winning is not important, it is the only thing that matters.

If you ask me, it was all of the above.

MATCH SUMMARY

Before the game started, the 10th Coppa Italia was paraded in its new home.  Good thing the Juventus Museum is big enough to hold all of these trophies.

Now let's talk about the match. I thought Juventus were going to have a poor display with their minds firmly set on the game against Barca.  Nothing could have been farther from the truth.  The defense was decided to not let anything past them, the midfield convinced to fight for every ball, and the attack was ready to make Napoli pay.  Juventus started with a somewhat rotated side with two very notable inclusions: Kwadwo Asamoah and Kingsley Coman.  These two had less than 600 Serie A minutes before today and were eager to make an impression.  Coman started things off after 13 minutes with an exquisite pass to put Pereyra in front of goal with plenty of time.  The Argentinian coolly finished to make it 1 - 0.

The game continued and Juventus were having almost too much fun.  Paul Pogba was running circles around Napoli players and Claudio Marchisio was showing his immense talent.  There really wasn't too much of note in the first half, except that Juventus showed to be at a markedly different level than Napoli.

In the second half, Rafa Benitez brought in Manolo Gabbiadini and the ex-Juve owned player changed things quite a bit.  He carried the team on his back and brought more pace and creativity to Napoli's attack.  From one of these attacks, the ball hit Asamoah's hand in the area and the ref awarded a penalty.  Did the bal hit Asamoah's hand? Sure.  Was it intentional? Hardly.  Insigne's penalty was saved by Gigi, but unfortunately Buffon couldn't do anything on the rebound shot from David Lopez.

Napoli tried hard to score a goal but they met a resolute Juventus defense and a monstrous Gigi Buffon who stopped everything that came his way.  There was one nervy moment when Gigi came out but failed to punch the ball which barely missed the net.  Juventus weathered the storm and in the 77th minute took the lead.  Stefano Sturaro received a pass from Álvaro Morata and turned his man to score a beauty in the top left corner.  If you had a poor stream, no one will fault you if you thought Carlos Tevez scored the goal.  Sturaro's movement was that of a top forward and a welcome surprise.

Napoli continued to try but at that point Juventus came closer to the third than Napoli to tying things.  After a few missed chances, Britos had himself sent off after a ridiculous headbutt on Morata in the 18 yard box.  Despite the ball being far away from the play, the referee awarded a penalty as is his right to do so.  Pepe took the penalty to seal an impressive show of force with a team missing some of its stars.

After that came the celebrations and the fourth scudetto of the Andrea Agnelli era was lifted by Gigi.  So I guess this game finished the same way it started, with a brand new trophy being paraded around the tifosi.  Not a bad day to be a Juventino.

LE PAGELLE

Buffon 7.0 Had one terrible play when he was caught in no man's land.  With that being said, he saved Juve at least two goals when the match was tied.

Padoin 6.5 Regular Padoin game, he didn't light the world on fire but he also didn't look like Zebina on the flank.

Barzagli 7.0 A rock at the back.  Allegri has some tough decisions ahead of the upcoming Champions League final.

Ogbonna 6.5 Didn't do anything to convince me he is not surplus to requirements.

Asamoah 7.0 Under regular circumstances he would get a 6.5 or even a 6, but after coming from a lengthy injury he gets some points for effort.  He run himself to the ground and has much match sharpness to recover.  He will be a welcome "addition" to the team next season.

Bonucci 6.5 Came on for Barzagli at the half.  Solid defensive display.

Sturaro 7.5 The kid is having the time of his life.  Six months ago he was almost and unknown player.  Now he has won one scudetto, a Coppa Italia, played an important role in a Champions League semifinal, and scored his first goal for Juventus. By the way, he was WhoScored man of the match.

Marchisio 8.0 His game was really flawless today.  I wouldn't be surprised if next year Marchisio pushes Pirlo to the bench as the team seeks to rejuvenate itself.

Pogba 7.5 Playing with no pressure allowed him to show all his skill and just have fun.  He is growing every game and making a case to start in Berlin in a couple of weeks.

Pereyra 7.5 He is slowly improving in the worst feature of his game: his scoring ability.  Coolly finished off a good chance like a veteran.  He will also be important in the rejuvenation of Juve.

Coman 8.0 His assist was a thing of beauty, no news there.  But, did you know he also had a game high three tackles? He has much room to grow but the potential is there.

Morata 7.5 He was always involved in the attack and assisted Sturaro's goal.  He provoked Britos on the penalty incident.  Although he is not a hot head like Berardi, he can still get into trouble like most players his age and today he could have received a red for instigating Britos (red against Roma, red against Fiorentina).

Allegri 7.5 Keeping a team motivated after three scudetti is a feat.  Keeping a team motivated after winning a historic double is incredible.

Aside: A few months ago I said that I didn't know if Allegri was a good coach or just a coach riding in this machine that Conte created.  Although I still believe that Conte was responsible for lighting the fire in this group of players, Allegri has been able to play with this fire in ways in which Conte never could.  Allegri has demonstrated that he can win long tournaments (Serie A) and elimination tournaments (Coppa Italia).  Although I don't think we will be ever breaking 95 points in Serie A with Allegri, we are becoming a more unpredictable team at the hands of our coach.  And I couldn't be happier, so thanks Mister, sorry for doubting you.

Summary

Juventus played with more urgency and incisiveness than a Napoli team in need.  Sidelined players got time on the ball, well-established players got some minutes on their legs, and youngsters got to show that they can contribute in the future.  Two different trophies were paraded around a Juventus stadium that has seen much silverware in the past few years.  So long Juventus stadium, see you in a few months when we fight for every ball all over again.