By 90Min
August 31, 2019

Juventus and Napoli played out a contender for game of the season at the Allianz Stadium, as the hosts came out 4-3 winners against their title rivals in an absolute classic. 

Danilo opened the scoring, less than a minute after entering the field to replace the injured Mattia De Sciglio. A stunning strike from Higuain doubled the score and Juve looked out of sight within the opening 20 minutes. Cristiano Ronaldo added a third to put the game beyond Napoli.

Or so we thought. 

Kostas Manolas, Hirving Lozano and Giovanni Di Lorenzo looked to have stolen an incredible point for I Partenopei, scoring three goals in 15 minutes, but a last-gasp own goal by Kalidou Koulibaly clinched all three points for Maurizio Sarri's side. 

Here's our take on a dramatic night in Turin. 


Juventus 

Key Talking Point

Higuain's future has been a major talking point in Turin over the summer, as his days in the black and white of Juve appeared to be over. He refused a move to Roma, convinced that he could still be of use to Sarri's side. 

Sure enough, the Argentine striker has proved his value, scoring a wonderful goal, and pressing the life out of the opposition backline. The former Napoli man looked like a man possessed, and more importantly, a man with a point to prove. 

If he continues to turn in performances of this quality, Sarri will be very glad Higuain believed in himself when no one else did. 


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Szczęsny (7); De Sciglio (N/A), De Ligt (4), Bonucci (6), Alex Sandro (6); Pjanic (6), Matuidi (7), Khedira (8); Ronaldo (9),  Higuain (8), Douglas Costa (8)

Substitutes:  Danilo (7), Can (6),  Dybala (7)

STAR MAN - It's pretty predictable, but it doesn't mean that it's not true. Cristiano Ronaldo was at the heart of everything dangerous whenever I Bianconeri swarmed forward. He has once again found himself on the left-hand side of a three-pronged attack, and is relishing his new (old) role. 

The Portuguese superstar was constantly involved in Juve's buildup play and added their third goal with a smart left-footed finish, which should have clinched the match. 

I know, it's no surprise, but that's football, and that's Cristiano. 


Napoli

Key Talking Point

In their previous match, Napoli overcame Fiorentina in a dramatic 4-3 thriller, but their excellent attacking display overshadowed their poor defensive work. All eyes were on Gli Azzurri backline, and if they could keep it tight against a rampant Juve. 

They didn't. They conceded two goals in the opening 20 minutes, which put them on the back-foot for the remainder of the game. Whilst they have possibly the strongest centre-back partnership in Serie A, the defence looked overran with a severe lack of cover in front of them. Ancelotti needs to get his side's balance right, or they'll continue to bleed goals this season. 


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Meret (6); Di Lorenzo (6), Koulibaly (4), Manolas (7), Ghoulam (5); Allan (6), Fabian (7), Zielinski (6); Callejon (6), Mertens (7), Insigne (5)

Substitutes: Lozano (8), Rui (6), Elmas (6)


STAR MAN - Hirving Lozano only entered proceedings at half-time, but his introduction changed the face of the game entirely. The Mexican striker injected a dynamism to Napoli's play, and demonstrated his lightning pace whenever he was presented the opportunity. 

The former PSV forward scored his side's second goal, which really gave the Neapolitans belief that they could get something from the game. Ancelotti changed tack to fit Lozano into his second half side, and the 24-year-old should have done enough to earn a starting position next time round. 


Looking Ahead 

Juventus travel to rivals Fiorentina after the international break, and will hope to rectify their defensive issues, as they were fortunate to sneak past Napoli at the very death. 

Napoli host Sampdoria in their next league fixture, and they will be heartbroken that they were unable to hold on to their dramatic comeback against Juve - and they'll need to keep it much tighter at the back. 

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