5 classic encounters between Juventus and Napoli
Representing the north and south of Italy, Juve and Napoli have developed a fierce rivalry over the decades.
Serie A leaders Juventus host Napoli on Sunday night and a Bianconeri victory will fire the reigning champions seven points clear with four games remaining.
Representing the north and south of Italy, Juve and Napoli have developed a fierce rivalry, with off-pitch issues including Gonzalo Higuain’s switch from Naples to Turin creating further animosity.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at five classic encounters between the clubs.
Napoli 1 Juventus 0 – November 3 1985
Diego Maradona was a key catalyst as the already simmering tension between Napoli and Juve intensified during the 1980s. Signed from Barcelona the summer before this clash in Naples, the mesmeric Argentinian forward condemned the Old Lady to a rare defeat with an unstoppable curling free-kick. Juve would, however, go on to win the title, with Maradona’s Napoli placing third.
Juventus 1 Napoli 3 – November 9 1986
Maradona was now a world champion thanks to his exploits with Argentina in Mexico but he still had a robust contender for the tag of best player in Italy and Europe. French schemer Michel Platini’s decline arguably began after this game, though, as an inspired Maradona masterminded Napoli’s first victory in Turin since 1957. Michael Laudrup fired the hosts ahead but Maradona, Moreno Ferrario and Bruno Giordano turned it around to send Napoli on their way towards the Scudetto.
Napoli 2 Juventus 2 (Napoli win 8-7 on penalties) – August 27 2006
Napoli’s star faded in the post-Maradona era and their next meaningful meeting with Juve came with the southerners only just back in Serie B following bankruptcy. Surprisingly they were joined in the second tier by Juve, who had been demoted over the ‘Calciopoli’ affair. So, in what would normally be a late-season meeting in the Coppa Italia, the rivals met in the early rounds and after Alessandro Del Piero forced extra-time with a late goal at San Paolo, Federico Balzaretti’s miss in the shootout sent the Naples side through. Both clubs won promotion to Serie A at the end of the 2006-07 campaign.
Juventus 2 Napoli 3 – October 31 2009
Twenty years had passed since the days of Maradona-Platini and once again Napoli and Juve were vying for the Italian championship, or so they thought. This thrilling match at the Stadio Olimpico was sparked into life when David Trezeguet scored for Juve against the run of play, with Sebastian Giovinco making it 2-0 thanks to a mistake by Napoli defender Matteo Contini. Then, future Azzurri captain Marek Hamsik and Jesus Datolo dragged the southerners level, before the Slovakian hit a winner on the counter-attack. Come May, however, Napoli finished sixth while Juve were seventh.
Juventus 2 Napoli 1 – October 29 2016
Juventus have now won 22 consecutive home games in Serie A:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 29, 2016
Clean sheets: 14
Amazing record. pic.twitter.com/bT0sqIHP65
Juve recovered from that disappointing campaign to win six straight titles and, on their way to Scudetto number six, they had a little help from a former Napoli favourite. Signed amid fury from Neapolitan fans for 90 million euros in the summer, Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain lined up against his former employers in the first of four clashes between the clubs last season. ‘El Pipita’ was largely quiet while Leonardo Bonucci and Jose Callejon exchanged goals at the Juventus Stadium but, in the 70th minute, he further broke Napoli hearts by smashing home a loose ball. He did not celebrate.