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Napoli narrow difference to Juventus after tense-filled derby

Napoli are back on track to win the Italian Scudetto following their late game victory against Juventus. The result now sees the Naples team trailing one point behind the current champions. 

Kalidou Koulibaly’s 90th minute goal has brought Napoli right back in the fight to win the Serie A title. It was a great victory and the accompanying game helped prove a point for the Naples team. Maurizio Sarri’s side dominated the game to the point that Juventus registered their very first game on the Juventus Stadium in which the hometeam registered absolutely no shots on goal.

It’s also an unexpected turnaround. Napoli’s dream of winning the Serie A seemed to be running out of steam in recent months. Despite the team leading for the first part of the season, the club lost important points in the new year. But then,  in the last months, a Juventus side focused primarily on the Champions League lost their share of points.

Maurizio Sarri - napoli managerThe victory in last night’s derby may have come late, but few could dispute who the better team on the night was, considering Napoli’s dominance. Sarri’s team had the lion’s share of possession (60%) and four shots on target to Juventus’ none. By the time that Koulibaly’s header went in from a Napoli corner, The Black and Whites looked like a spent force, a rare moment indeed.

There is a great sense of excitement in Napoli, with the team now having a real chance to secure their third ever Serie A trophy. Fans will certainly feel that they’re witnessing a historic event. The team’s other awards were captured in an era ruled by their Argentine forward Diego Maradona. Also, Juventus has been unbeatable during the last six seasons.

It’s perhaps this feeling that this is indeed history in the making that has added to the tension of the derby. An incident occurred prior to the derby when Napoli’s bus was received with boos and jeers by Juve’s fans. Manager Maurizio Sarri could be spotted giving the troublesome supporters the middle finger.

“I replied to a group of people who were spitting at the bus and insulting us for being Neapolitan. I would never make a gesture like that towards anyone for being a Juventus fan,” he said in an attempt to calm the waters after the derby.

Thousands of fans are set to expect the Napoli players upon their return to the city. And while the majority of European championships already have their winners confirmed, or at least almost certain, the Serie A is bound to run into the final matchday of the competition.

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