By Jerry Mancini.
Juventus suffered their second loss this season after losing 2-1 to Napoli on Sunday.
Coach Maurizio Sarri made his much-anticipated return to the San Paolo since being fired by Napoli in 2018.
Sarri was unable to win in his return and with the loss, Juventus failed to further their lead on Inter Milan and Lazio who each sit second and third behind the Bianconeri.
The match was slow to get going, and the game didn’t start to open up until around the hour mark.
Midfielder Piotr Zielinski scored the first goal of the game in the 63rd minute, while Lorenzo Insigne brought the win home for the Partenopei, scoring with four minutes left in the game.
It took Juventus over an hour before they managed to get a shot on target, but Cristiano Ronaldo was able to get one back in the 90th minute. Although Juventus lost, Ronaldo extended his personal scoring streak to eight straight games.
Juventus’ centre-back Leonardo Bonnucci felt they could have done a better job in defence.
“We conceded goals in such a manner which we could certainly have done better, then we tried to turn the game and put it back on its feet, but it was too late,” the Italian defender said.
“Napoli played an intense game, and they were careful even in the defensive phase. We were slow in the movement of the ball and perhaps, in terms of character, we were lacking.
“We need to see this loss as a lesson to move forward, we just have to keep working and improving.”
Sarri made his return to Napoli and the Italian manager didn’t get a good reception. The crowd booed and insulting banners were in place in different parts of the city before the game.
Juventus didn’t look composed throughout the game. The team lacked quality and created very little opportunities to score.
“We were passive today, we played at a fast pace and so everything became more difficult,” Sarri said after the match.
“We weren’t cohesive between attack and defence and we were very tame from a mental point of view.
“We had the wrong approach and we played without the right intensity. It is difficult to isolate the performance of a single player or area.
“I choose the attacking trident because all three seemed to me to be in form and that they would be supported by the midfield.”
As for Napoli, they will be satisfied with the result as they have only managed to win once in their last eleven Serie A matches. The club put in a full effort and seems as they are starting to turn things around.
“I am satisfied, the victory is fair and deserved,” Gennaro Gattuso said of Napoli’s win.
“The success is beautiful and rewarding, especially against the team at the top of the table, but it is early to say that we have solved the difficulties because in the past we have fallen back.
“Tonight, we take good performance, character, but it must also be said that in the standings we only have 27 points, and that, so far, is what we are worth.”