Italian Serie A - Juventus sink rivals Napoli in Serie A thriller

Serie A, Juventus Stadium - Juventus 2 (Caceres 77, Pogba 78) Napoli 0

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Serie A - Juventus, Napoli win, move within two points of Roma
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Paul Pogba (Reuters)

Substitutes Martin Caceres and Paul Pogba scored late on as Juventus notched up a 2-0 win over Serie A rivals Napoli.

Caceres put Juventus 1-0 up midway through the second half with a powerful header off a Andrea Pirlo cross. The substitute had only been on the pitch for two minutes before putting the Bianconeri ahead in the top-of-the-table clash.

Caceres's goal was followed up immediately by fellow substitute Pogba, who unleashed a left-foot volley from outside the Napoli area to put Juventus 2-0 up.

The score line however did not reflect Napoli's performance throughout the match at Juventus Stadium, especially as Edinson Cavani could have put the visitors 1-0 up in the first half with a free-kick that smashed into the bar.

Nothing could separate the two sides going into the match. Each side was unbeaten heading into the clash in Turin and both occupied the top two places in Serie A with 19 points. The loss of Gianluigi Buffon due to a thigh injury meant that Marco Storari stepped in for Juventus, but it was the Napoli keeper Morgan de Sanctis who was under pressure early on.

Juventus striker Sebastian Giovinco had a clear-cut chance in the first minute when he powered a right-footed shot at De Sanctis, but the Italian was able to block the shot and clear the danger. It was not long until Giovinco was testing the keeper again after latching on to a through ball from Pirlo. De Sanctis fumbled the ball and a moment of confusion ensued with his defence, allowing Giovinco an opening, but a late clearance prevented him putting Juventus 1-0 up.

It was Cavani's free-kick in the 25th minute that nearly caused an early upset for the visitors. Gokhan Inler was fouled by Arturo Vidal on the left-hand side of the Juventus box. Cavani stepped up and curled a powerful right-footed shot into the bar, beating Storari who could not get anywhere near the effort. The only other effort came at the other end late on in the half when Claudio Marchisio drilled a right-footed shot just over the bar.

Giovinco got another clear chance early on in the second half when he picked up the ball in the middle of the Napoli penalty area. Having beaten two defenders he then pushed a right-footed shot just wide of the post to leave the score at 0-0.

Juventus stand-in boss Massimo Carrera will be praised following his tactical substitutions which all nearly paid off. Firstly, Alessandro Matri came on and almost put his side ahead after a long ball was put into the Napoli box by Storari. Matri almost controlled it and would have had a one-on-one but the ball just got away from him.

However when Carrera brought on Pogba and Cacares the two substitutes struck quickly. Pirlo delivered a corner from the left-hand side and Cacares rose above the Napoli defence to put the ball powerfully in the back of the net. The Napoli defence had only let in three goals this season up to that point and their deficit was about to get worse.

A failed clearance from the Napoli box fell to Pogba who drilled a left-footed volley into the bottom right-hand corner. With Juventus 2-0 up the game was out of reach for Napoli who now sit three points behind Juve in Serie A.

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