Juventus had been more than fortunate during their eight game winning streak where they hadn’t conceded even once. They paid all that karma and luck back in buckets tonight as league leaders Napoli showed they are truly the only Scudetto contenders this season with a 5-1 spanking of the Bianconeri.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side had an opportunity to pull within four points of the Partenopei with a win, but instead conceded early and often, and were unable to take advantage of the few scoring chances they garnered especially in the first half. Victor Osimhen’s man of the match performance saw him grab two and set up another while Khvicha Kvaratskhelia put aside talk of his recent performances with two assists and a goal for himself as well.
Luciano Spalletti’s side were always going to be the more dominant one, but Juve seemed to give as good as they got and really should have gone into the break on level terms. However, in the second half the Neapolitans moved up the gears and left the Bianconeri in their wake with a couple of quick goals.
Speaking after the game, Allegri was quick to praise the league leaders.
“First of all, we must congratulate Napoli on their performance. We were a little low on energy when dealing with all the goals, were too deep for the opening 20 minutes and then conceded the second goal just as we were pushing forward.
“We had chances and the feeling we could score, but this is football and every time Napoli had a shot, it could’ve been a goal. You just need to see the third goal when it was a corner that wasn’t cut out.
“There’s a long road ahead and many points up for grabs, so we have to get working and look forward.”
The last time Juve lost by this scoreline was against Pescara back in 1993, and ironically it was Allegri with a pair of goals in that game.
“This was a deserved defeat, because we went into the game with less energy. The situations we conceded were also fairly easy to read and predict, but sometimes luck is on your side and sometimes it isn’t. We tried to turn it around towards half-time, but Napoli fully deserved it.
“That doesn’t mean we should let our heads drop, because we can be proud of the eight consecutive victories and need to get back on track in Serie A and the Coppa Italia.”
The coach was asked about his comments regarding the low energy, especially since in previous games Juve had showed they could score late on.
“When you make errors like this against an opponent like Napoli, you are going to get punished. They are the leaders and deserve their current position.
“We must keep working, improving and try to get the injured players back. All negative situations also have positives, as we reacted well in the first half, even though the ball wasn’t falling kindly for us tonight.
“There’s no need to get depressed, just like there was no getting ahead of ourselves after the eight consecutive wins. It’s a defeat and we move on.”
Federico Chiesa made his first start since returning from his ACL injury, but playing at wingback against a rampant Napoli side meant he was penned back for a lot of the contest.
“We went too deep with Chiesa and Kostic, after a few minutes I realised we had to switch McKennie and Chiesa’s positions to push him forward. When things go wrong like they did with all those goals, the ball doesn’t fall kindly and it’s also our fault for not having the same energy as Napoli.”