Monday 26 February 2018

Video: Alvaro Morata creamed by headbutt as Juventus beat Napoli

Juventus' forward from Spain Alvaro Morata (R) argues with Napoli's defender from Uruguay Miguel Britos (L) who received a red card
Juventus' forward from Spain Alvaro Morata (R) argues with Napoli's defender from Uruguay Miguel Britos (L) who received a red card

Juventus won their final home game of the season against Napoli in an atmosphere of celebration and tribute.

Massimiliano Allegri's side paraded the Coppa Italia before the game and were presented with the Serie A trophy after it, while their fans paid a moving tribute to the 39 people killed in the Heysel disaster 30 years ago this month.

Amongst all that there was time for Roberto Pereyra, Stefano Sturaro and Simone Pepe to earn Juve a 3-1 win. David Lopez scored Napoli's goal but the result left them relying on a Lazio slip-up if they are to qualify for the Champions League, and they also had Miguel Britos sent off in injury time.

Dries Mertens and Lopez had early efforts saved for Napoli but they fell behind in the 13th minute when Kingsley Coman threaded the ball through and Pereyra finished right-footed from just outside the six-yard box.

A flurry of activity just after the 20-minute mark saw Coman and Paul Pogba's shots blocked for Juve while Mertens and Lopez were off target.

Pogba sent a free-kick just over before, with this the nearest Juve home game to next Friday's Heysel anniversary, the home crowd honoured their fallen colleagues in the 39th minute.

A large flag reading "39 Rispetto (respect)" was accompanied by the message "No one truly dies if they live on in the hearts of those who remain", while the crowd also held up the names of the individual victims.

Faouzi Ghoulam and Christian Maggio were unable to find an equaliser before half-time but it came five minutes after the restart.

Kwadwo Asamoah conceded a penalty with a handball and though Lorenzo Insigne's shot was saved, Lopez followed up to score.

Pogba headed Claudio Marchisio's corner wide and Maggio was similarly off target at the other end.

France midfielder Pogba forced a low save from Mariano Andujar, while Mertens' shot was blocked before Napoli went closer still in the 69th minute.

The ball dropped to David Lopez on the edge of the box and he clipped a volley goalwards, which was brilliantly saved one-handed by Gianluigi Buffon. The keeper also kept out Marek Hamsik's header from the resulting corner.

But Juve restored their lead when Sturaro turned superbly through the visiting defence and burst away at pace before finding the top corner, with even a slight deflection off Maggio unable to detract from the aesthetic pleasure of the goal.

Buffon almost blotted his copybook moments later when he failed to get to a Napoli corner and was lucky to see Lopez head wide.

Juve broke at speed after a free-kick and the referee played a good advantage when Coman was cynically hacked down, but Morata's poor cross saw the chance wasted.

Ghoulam was booked for the foul at the next stoppage, which came when Coman was yellow-carded for seeking some retribution of his own.

Napoli's match then ended acrimoniously as Britos headbutted Morata off the ball, earning himself a red card and conceding a penalty which Pepe, widely expected to leave Juve this summer, stroked coolly down the middle for his first goal since April 2012 to spark further delighted celebrations.

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