Juventus beats Napoli 2-0 in co-leaders clash

Updated: 21 October 2012 00:01 IST

Defending champion Juventus needed two late goals from substitutes for a 2-0 win over Napoli in a top-of-the-table clash Sunday to take control of the Italian league and extend its Serie A unbeaten streak to 47 matches.

Juventus beats Napoli 2-0 in co-leaders clash

Turin, Italy:

Defending champion Juventus needed two late goals from substitutes for a 2-0 win over Napoli in a top-of-the-table clash Sunday to take control of the Italian league and extend its Serie A unbeaten streak to 47 matches.


Uruguay defender Martin Caceres scored in the 80th minute and French teenager Paul Pogba added another goal two minutes later. It was the first goals for both players this season, and the 19-year-old Pogba's first in Serie A.

The best Napoli could muster was a free kick off the crossbar from Edinson Cavani in the 26th.

Juventus moved three points clear of Napoli, which is attempting to win its first league title since Diego Maradona led the southern club to the honor in 1987 and 1990.

Later, third-place Lazio was hosting struggling AC Milan. Lazio and Inter Milan are tied for third, seven points back.

Inter hosts Catania on Sunday.

Two minutes after he came on, Caceres was left unmarked to score from a header following a corner kick.

Pogba, who had also just come off the bench, then doubled the lead with a long, bouncing volley to set off delirium inside the year-old Juventus Stadium, where the Turin club is still yet to lose.

Pogba left Manchester United after last season and signed a four-year deal with Juventus.

Napoli's victory in the Italian Cup final inflicted Juve's only loss last season. This was their second meeting this season, with Juventus beating Napoli 4-2 in the Italian Super Cup in Beijing in August, after which Napoli skipped the awards ceremony.

AC Milan holds the record unbeaten streak in Serie A at 58, set over the 1990-91, 91-92 and 92-93 seasons.

Juventus next visits Danish side FC Nordsjaelland in the Champions League on Tuesday.

For this match, Juventus was missing two key players, with goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon out due to a left thigh injury and forward Mirko Vucinic also left off the squad with a fever.

Marco Storari started in goal for Juve, while Sebastian Giovinco and Fabio Quagliarella lined up in attack. Napoli responded with its usual 3-4-1-2 formation spearheaded by Marek Hamsik, Goran Pandev and Cavani.

While there was constant action, both sides struggled to create chanced in the first half, as Juventus controlled the possession early on and Napoli relied on counterattacks.

Arturo Vidal fouled Gokhan Inler just outside the lateral side of Juve's area in the 26th and Cavani's ensuing free kick hit the crossbar, as his sharply angled shot found its way around a three-man wall.

At the other end, Juve midfielder Claudio Marchisio shot high from beyond the area in first-half added time.

In the 49th, a free kick from Juve's midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo deflected off Napoli's wall and goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis was able to stop it.

With Juve picking up its pace, Giovinco had a good look at the goal in the 56th but shot wide.

Alessandro Matri replaced Quagliarella on the hour mark and nearly scored six minutes later, but he couldn't reach a long, vertical pass with only De Sanctis to beat.

In the 76th, Cavani missed an improbable volley from 30 meters (yards) and Juventus then took over.



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