Juventus vs. Napoli  2 - 0

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Hamsik: Juventus defeat will spur Napoli on

23 October 2012 17:41

Napoli forward Marek Hamsik hopes that their loss to Juventus in a top-of-the-table-clash on Saturday will propel them on for the rest of the season.

The Slovakia international admitted he felt the Serie A leaders were slightly fortunate to run out 2-0 winners in Turin and that a defensive error for Martin Caceres' goal cost them at least a point.

"Juve had a lot of the ball but never looked dangerous," he said.

"Unfortunately we left Caceres alone at the corner, and we were punished."

Walter Mazzari's team remain second on the table despite the loss, and Hamsik feels that they must take their disappointment out on their next opponents after failing to take the chance to move to the summit of the league.

"This defeat will give us the right sort of anger for the next games. We start next weekend against Chievo, and that will be important," he said.

"We then go to Bergame (to play Atalanta) and that will also be tricky.

"We have to work hard."

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Inler: Juventus loss a minor setback

21 October 2012 15:31

Napoli midfielder Gokhan Inler insists his side can still win the Serie A title despite losing 2-0 to Juventus on Saturday.

Walter Mazzarri's men succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at Juventus Stadium with late goals from Martin Caceres and Paul Pogba condemning them to a first league defeat of the season.

Nevertheless, Switzerland international Inler remained positive, saying the club battled hard and the defeat was only a minor setback in their quest for silverware this season.

"We fought with great intensity, with the heart – as our coach Mazzarri wanted. It is not enough this time. Juve took advantage of a corner," the 28-year-old told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"That goal (hurt us) because until that moment we had fought to the best of our ability. There are 30 games to go, the road is long and we do not give up, that's for sure.

"I say this because today we gave a great demonstration of courage. We all have done our job to the end.

"And (in) this (title) race we need to gain experience. Do not speak to us of the championship, just think to improve, believe in Napoli always."

Napoli sit second in Serie A with 19 points after eight games.

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Pogba yearned for Juventus

21 October 2012 05:08

Juventus teen prospect Paul Pogba said his desire to join the Serie A leaders blossomed over the off-season.

Fresh from scoring his first goal in Juve colours during the team's 2-0 victory over Napoli on Saturday, the 19-year-old highlighted the role former France and Juventus midfielder Patrick Vieira played in helping him select his destination of choice, once he decided to depart Manchester United.

"There were other teams interested in me over the summer, but I wanted to sign for Juventus," Pogba told Sky Sport Italia.

"Many French champions have played here. I spoke to Vieira and he advised me to come to Juventus.

"I'm really happy and proud of my first goal in the black and white stripes. In those moments you don’t think about anything. You try to shoot and that's all."

Joining the France Under-21 international on the scoreboard in Turin was defender Martin Caceres, who similarly came off the bench to make an immediate impact.

"I'm very happy about my goal, but above all for the victory itself, which came at the end of an even and difficult game," added the Uruguay international Caceres.

"I'd like to congratulate everyone on the success.

"Once again we showed that our strength lies within the team. This particular game isn't decisive as far as the Scudetto's concerned however. There are still many games to go before the end of the season."

Napoli's defeat saw Antonio Conte's men open up a three-point gap at the top of the league over the Partenopei, and playmaker Marek Hamsik said they will need to learn from the defeat.

"We need to reflect on this result, and then forget it, because it is a painful one," Hamsik said.

"We could have done more up front. We weren't as dangerous on the counterattack as we know we can be."

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Alessio pays tribute to Conte

21 October 2012 03:21

Juventus assistant Angelo Alessio has credited suspended manager Antonio Conte for the moves behind his team's 2-0 victory over Napoli.

The Turin club moved three points clear of second-placed Napoli with the win on Saturday, extending their unbeaten streak in Serie A to 47 matches.

The match was goalless until Juventus broke through with 10 minutes to go when Martin Caceres headed home an Andrea Pirlo corner past just moments after coming off the bench.

Fellow substitute Paul Pogba repeated the feat two minutes later with a terrific volley that gave his side the initiative in their title defence.

Conte, who recently had his touchline ban for involvement in a match-fixing scandal reduced from 10 months to four, will return to the bench in December.

"We had already chosen with Antonio Conte the possible substitutions to make before the match," Alessio said.

"We were fully prepared for any situation, so when (Kwadwo) Asamoah asked to be substituted Caceres went on to the pitch, as it was already planned in the hotel with Antonio Conte - he is involved in the decisions."

Alessio said Juventus were deserved winners.

"We played a great game, but Napoli too played a great game," he said.

"We have two different ideas on football; we have great organisation and prefer to be attacking throughout, while they prefer to play on the counter attack.

"We remained focused for the whole game and dominated possession. Napoli were only really dangerous with a (Edinson) Cavani free kick in the first half.

"Those are the facts after tonight's game and I want to give my compliments to the whole team.

"(Gianluigi) Buffon and (Mirko) Vucinic were not on the pitch but, I repeat, with our organisation any player can be decisive."

Article

Moggi: Juve never approached Mazzarri

20 October 2012 16:48

Luciano Moggi has stoked the fires ahead of Juventus' clash against Napoli by saying Walter Mazzarri was never considered by his old club.

The 51-year-old coach shot to prominence at the end of the 2010/11 campaign after leading Napoli to third place in the Serie A and Champions League football the following season.

His exploits sparked rumours that he was in the running to replace sacked Juve boss Luigi Delneri but, according to the former director, it was not the case as Antonio Conte eventually took on the vacancy.

"It was Mazzarri looking for Juve and not vice versa," Moggi told Radio Mana Sport.

"I know for a fact that Juventus have never thought of hiring Walter Mazzarri, but rather he was the one to have proposed to them before the appointment of Conte."

The two sides are unbeaten in the league this season, taking 19 points from their opening seven fixtures.

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Nedved: Juve, Napoli Italy´s best

20 October 2012 14:41

Pavel Nedved believes Juventus and Napoli are the two best teams in the Serie A ahead of their top-of-the-table clash on Saturday.

The star Czech Republic midfielder says the match in Turin will not be decisive in the title race just yet, and hopes the recent internationals will not affect the game.

"It's still too early to be a decisive game. But it will be a great encounter contested between two of the best teams in Italy," Nedved told the Juventus website.

"It's not a battle between (Antonio) Conte and (Walter) Mazzarri, it's a meeting of two great teams, led by two great coaches.

"I can't wait for the game. I hope it will be an enjoyable encounter in spite of the inevitable tiredness of the many players who have been on international duty.

"Between them Juventus and Napoli had a total of around 30 players on their travels and each and every one of them will have been focused on performing for their respective nations."

Juve and Napoli sit joint first in Serie A with 19 points from seven games.

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Marchisio eager to lower Napoli morale

19 October 2012 16:19

Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio hopes his team can deal Napoli a 'psychological blow' when they meet on Saturday.

Unbeaten in 46 Serie A games, Juventus host Napoli in a blockbuster top-of-the-table clash which Marchisio is eagerly anticipating.

The Italy international said Napoli had grown a lot over the past few years, but believes Juve are the better side overall.

"In a single game, anything can happen, but we're superior to Napoli on the long term," Marchisio told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"We have the better players, a more impressive history and are used to winning.

"We have to stay alert, though. They are a team on the rise and showed in the Coppa Italia final what they can do.

"We want to beat them in order to deal their morale a blow. The title race is still long, but it would be a psychological blow for them if we grab the full three points."

Juventus and Napoli sit joint top of the league on 19 points from seven matches ahead of the clash in Turin.

Article

Giovinco unfazed by unpopularity of Juve

19 October 2012 13:56

Juventus attacker Sebastian Giovinco believes his club are becoming unpopular with other Serie A teams due to their ongoing success.

Antonio Conte's team remained unbeaten in the league last season and are yet to be defeated this term.

Speaking ahead of their top-of-the-table clash against Napoli, Giovinco said he understood why other teams were growing increasingly frustrated.

"The tension between Juventus and Napoli is a normal thing in my opinion. It's always going to hurt when another team wins and then continues to win the following season," he told Tuttosport.

"It's only logical that people are going to give every little thing a lot of attention and make controversies bigger than they really are.

"This was to be expected, and it doesn't really affect me to be honest."

Juventus are unbeaten in 46 league games ahead of hosting Napoli and Giovinco said it was too early in the campaign for the encounter to be decisive.

"I don't know what it would mean for the title race if we'd lose. We are not even thinking about the possibility of losing the game," the Italy international said.

"And not much will change if we win. We will just continue to work hard. We remain humble and are only thinking about our next game. It's too soon to say something about the title."

Article

Serie A preview: Top-two clash in the main event

19 October 2012 13:44

Top sides Juventus and Napoli meet in a cracking start to the weekend's Serie A matches as Lazio aim to keep pace with the frontrunners.

Most of the attention will be on Saturday night's clash between table-topping Juventus, who put their 46-match unbeaten streak on the line when they host Napoli, second to the Bianconeri on goal difference alone.

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon remains under an injury cloud however, after reportedly picking up a thigh strain leading into Italy's 3-1 World Cup qualifying win over Denmark on Tuesday night.

Juve chief executive Giuseppe Marotta has been forced to deny Buffon put club ahead of country to be fit for the Napoli clash, saying it was just another conspiracy in a nation full of them.

Another concern for Juventus, however, will be forward Claudio Marchisio, who injured his shoulder.

Marchisio's 85th-minute goal saved Juve's blushes against last-placed Siena before the international break, helping Juventus to a hard-fought 2-1 draw against a side who are better than their table position suggests due to a six-point penalty incurred following the latest match-fixing probe.

If either Juventus or Napoli lose, third-placed Lazio will be looking to make up ground on them when they host the desperately out-of-form AC Milan later on Saturday night.

Lazio, four points behind the top two with 15 points, can certainly put pressure on the leaders if they are successful.

Much of the responsibility for this will lie with Lazio's German striker Miroslav Klose, who scored twice in his side's 3-0 victory over Pescara before the break.

AC Milan, meanwhile, come into this clash in an unfamiliar 11th place with just two wins this season, following their 1-0 loss to derby rivals Inter.

Adding to Milan's woes, Robinho is expected to be out for the next few weeks with a thigh injury.

On Sunday, fourth-placed Inter will also be looking to climb up the table when they host Catania (seventh).

The Sicilians were impressive in a 2-0 victory over Parma in their last game but Catania's three victories have all been at home.

Fifth-placed Roma will also not receive any favours on the road when they travel to Genoa (ninth) on Sunday night, although the capital club will at least take some winning form into the encounter following a 2-0 victory over Atalanta.

Fiorentina (sixth) take on Chievo (16th) with both teams coming off wins, while Parma (15th) will be looking for just their second win this campaign when they host Sampdoria (eighth).

Torino (10th) travel to Sicily to face off against Palermo (17th) who only managed to rise out of the relegation zone following their 1-1 draw with Genoa.

Bologna (11th) will make a long trip south for Sunday's early clash with Cagliari (19th) while Pescara (13th) will look to move up the table against Udinese (14th).

The match between Atalanta (18th) and last-placed Siena could be an early chance for either side to rise out of the relegation mire.

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Mazzarri talks down Juventus blockbuster

13 October 2012 16:54

Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri has dismissed the hype surrounding his side's upcoming match against Juventus.

The pair have both taken 19 points from their opening seven Serie A games and look set to battle it out for the league crown, but the 51-year-old said the match is no more important than any other domestic fixture.

"This is a game that will be good for morale, but only at the end of the season will we get a clear idea of all the results and see where we are," he told Corriere dello Sport.

"We never said that Napoli were the anti-Juve. All we want to do is continue along our own path."

But, the coach did admit he will be fired up for the contest and said he relishes the challenge each game presents.

"I love a challenge and sport means every match is like a cup final for me. That is how I get fired up for each test," he said.

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Padoin: Napoli, Juve are big title hopes

13 October 2012 14:35

Juventus midfielder Simone Padoin is eagerly anticipating the upcoming Serie A game against Napoli after the international break.

Juve and the Walter Mazzarri's side have both collected 19 points from their opening seven league games, and Padoin anticipates an interesting match against the Neapolitans.

"We'll be prepared for the game against Napoli, despite all those away on international duty. I believe we'll see the clash of the two teams with the greatest chance of winning the Scudetto," Padoin told Juventus Channel.

"I agree with (Giorgio) Chiellini, who said the match won't be decisive just yet. It's an important game but it's still not fundamental, it will only be the eighth championship fixture of the campaign.

"I think the game can be won in midfield, whoever proves to be the better in their individual duels could prove decisive.

"In Beijing (during the Supercoppa Italiana) we were exemplary in this department and deserved to win before the game went to extra-time."

The match at the Juventus Stadium takes place on October 20.

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Pandev hungry for revenge

12 October 2012 15:13

Goran Pandev is looking to avenge Napoli's 4-2 Supercoppa Italiana loss against Juventus when both sides meet after the international break.

The Naples side was beaten in controversial fashion at the start of the season as they had two players dismissed - one of which was Pandev himself - while Juventus were awarded a spot-kick, and the Macedonia international is desperate to make amends on October 20 in Turin.

"We have to go to Juventus without showing them any fear. We have shown that we can trouble any opponent. We have what it takes to beat the Italian champions," Pandev told Tuttosport.

"We all know how our previous game against them ended. We have to make amends for that defeat.

"The Supercoppa was one big lie. I didn't say anything to the linesman, yet I was still sent off. One thing's certain, though, I won't even look at one of the match officials this time.

"I now understand how to play against Juventus."

Juventus and Napoli sit joint first in the Serie A table with 19 points from seven games.

Serie A table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +47 87
2 38 +37 78
3 38 +28 72
4 38 +28 70
5 38 +14 66
6 38 +15 62
7 38 +9 61
8 38 +4 56
9 38 -2 54
10 38 -1 49
11 38 -12 47
12 38 -15 45
13 38 -6 44
14 38 -8 42
15 38 -17 40
16 38 -9 39
17 38 -14 38
18 38 -20 32
19 38 -21 30
20 38 -57 22