Napoli make Scudetto statement with Juve thrashing

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Napoli made their Scudetto credentials clear with a 5-1 hammering of Juventus, who had won eight in a row until this crushing humiliation including a Victor Osimhen brace and Kvicha Kvaratskhelia strike.

The Partenopei were already Winter Champions with two rounds to spare as they hosted second-placed Juve, who were coming off eight consecutive victories with clean sheets. Max Allegri had Gleison Bremer back, but still missed Leonardo Bonucci, Dusan Vlahovic, Juan Cuadrado, Mattia De Sciglio, Paul Pogba and Kaio Jorge, so Arkadiusz Milik started against his former club. Federico Chiesa got his first start since rupturing his ACL in January 2022.

Bremer was fortunate to get away with a possible handball when chasing down Matteo Politano on the counter, but the hosts found the breakthrough after 14 minutes.

Politano’s deflected cross found an acrobatic Kvicha Kvaratskhelia volley and good Wojciech Szczesny save, but only parried it as far as Osimhen’s header from a couple of yards. It ended a run of eight consecutive Serie A clean sheets for Juve.

However, Juventus went very close to an equaliser on 21 minutes when Angel Di Maria intercepted a poor Amir Rrahmani pass and saw his looping strike thump the top of the crossbar with Alex Meret beaten.

Arek’s Milik glancing header was too close to Meret and Bremer nodded a corner over the bar, but Napoli doubled their lead when Bremer accidentally knocked down a Politano ball over the top for Osimhen, who intelligent drew away defenders and rolled across for unmarked Kvaratskhelia to sweep home with the inside of the right boot from eight yards.

However, Juve fought back moments later, Kim Min-jae failing to cut out the Di Maria pass, so the Argentine combined with Milik instead and placed a precise snooker shot into the far bottom corner.

On the stroke of half-time, Meret needed a desperate save to prevent Rrahmani scoring an own goal on Chiesa’s cross.

Eljif Elmas replaced Politano at half-time, who had a calf issue, and Osimhen left Alex Sandro in his dust to test Szczesny at the near post.

On the resulting corner, Kvaratskhelia’s corner was flicked on by Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa for defender Rrahmani to blast in first-time from 12 yards. Juve wanted Osimhen flagged offside, but he was kept in play by Milik.

Moments later, Osimhen robbed Bremer and fired over from a tricky angle, and the fourth goal confirmed it was really not Bremer’s night.

The Brazilian battled to stop a ball going out for a corner, but instead Mario Rui stole it, allowing Kvaratskhelia to whip in a cross from the left for Osimhen’s header between two centre-backs into the top corner.

It was 5-1 when Elmas cut inside Filip Kostic from the right on a Giovanni Di Lorenzo assist and the finish took a big deflection off Alex Sandro to wrong-foot Szczesny. Juventus had not conceded five goals since a 5-1 against Pescara in May 1993.

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