Juventus vs. Napoli – Football match report – January 6, 2022
Italy striker Federico Chiesa on Thursday won a 1-1 draw against Juventus against Napoli in Serie A, while Massimiliano Allegri’s side remain in fifth place in the table.
Juve’s American midfielder Weston McKennie missed a simple opportunity with his header in the early stages before Napoli passed the club’s all-time top scorer Dries Mertens in the 23rd minute.
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The visitors had the opportunity to increase their lead before the break, but were unable to pass goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.
Juve returned for the second half with a different appearance and came back to level thanks to Chiesa in the 54th.
They lobbied to try to win the winner but couldn’t create the opportunity to kill, having to settle for a point that leaves them 35 points in 20 games, five points behind Napoli in third and 11 on the leader. Inter Milan, who have a game in hand.
“We have to see this in positive terms as a earned point,” Allegri told DAZN. “I would like to see more calm and focus in the final third, but part of that is related to the characteristics of the players as well.
“We have some areas where we need to improve, but overall it was a good performance. We should score a few more goals, but we managed to target Chiesa, we did better with set-off situations and had this luck with Weston McKennie, so we’re getting there. “
There were doubts whether Napoli would be allowed to travel to Turin for the clash with Juve amid rising COVID-19 cases in the team, but the local health authority (ASL) granted them permission to make the trip.
Even with several absent, Napoli dominated the first half, becoming only the second team to shoot more than 10 shots on goal in a Serie A first half at Juventus after Lazio in August 2013.
Mertens’ first goal since early December, a bubbly strike from the edge of the box, gave the hosts – playing without coach Luciano Spalletti on the sideline after testing positive for COVID-19 – a deserved lead at the half time.
All the goal-mouth action came from one side at the start of the second half, as Chiesa broke through just off before sneaking into the bottom corner via a slight deflection.
Argentina striker Paulo Dybala came off the bench and forced a nice save from Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina as the hosts pushed for a second goal before Szczesny turned Mertens down.
Substitute Moise Kean could have snatched all three points from the hosts in stoppage time, but he headed for Juve, still chasing their first league win against the top four this season.