Naive Nonge the villain for Juventus in Naples

Napoli defeated Juventus thanks to goals from Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Giacomo Raspadori, but they were aided by an error from Bianconeri youngster Joseph Nonge.


Napoli defeated Juventus 2-1 on Serie A Matchday 27, but it was not an easy victory for the reigning champions. The Bianconeri had several chances to score, especially in the first half, but they were surprisingly wasteful.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia opened the scoring with a fine volley, but Federico Chiesa equalised with a low drive. However, the Partenopei won it later on after Juve youngster Joseph Nonge fouled Azzurri striker Victor Osimhen, and after the Nigerian had his penalty saved, Giacomo Raspadori was quick to smash the ball back into the net.

Napoli have gone four matches unbeaten in all competitions under new coach Francesco Calzona, but they had to remain calm and pick the right moments to strike in this Serie A fixture.

Juventus ensure role reversal as they squander chances to win

This encounter between Napoli and Juventus was one that flipped the script. Usually, the Partenopei would create most of the scoring opportunities, and the Bianconeri would capitalise on the few chances they would get. This time, it was the Italian giants who posed the greatest threat in the final third.

La Vecchia Signora wasted several chances throughout the match with star striker Dusan Vlahovic wasting three in three first half alone. He also had an effort in the second half that went straight at Azzurri goalkeeper Alex Meret. Meanwhile, Daniele Rugani was not able to repeat the heroics of last week when he scored the winner against Frosinone, blasting his shot over the bar later on.

They finished with 18 shots compared to the 14 taken by the Partenopei, but only four hit the target. With such ineffectiveness in front of goal, this would form justification for Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri to often opt for a more conservative approach.

Giacomo Raspadori runs away in delight after netting the winner for Napoli against Juventus (@Napoli_Brasil).

Juventus youngster Nonge shows naivety

With the likes of Weston McKennie and Adrien Rabiot injured, and Nicolo Fagioli and Paul Pogba serving long-term bans, Belgian starlet Nonge was promoted from the Juventus Next Gen squad to the senior one. Unfortunately, his second Serie A appearance was one to forget for the 18-year-old.

He came off the bench to replace Fabio Miretti in the 76th minute, and it all went wrong when he placed the studs of his left boot onto the right leg of Osimhen. The Napoli striker was not in clear position to score, and Juventus defenders Rugani and Alex Sandro were in a position to close him down. It was unnecessary for the youngster to barge in like he did.

For his moment of recklessness and inexperience, Allegri decided to replace Nonge with Danilo, and the 18-year-old ended his cameo after 14 minutes. It was harsh to replace the youngster instantaneously and he will have the mental scars, but he might have to wait a long time until he plays for the seniors again, if at all.

Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia celebrates scoring a goal. (@sscnapoli_br)

Napoli keep their cool to secure late victory over Juventus

Although most of the statistics suggested that Napoli dominated this match, it did not seem to be the case when watching it. The Partenopei had 71% possession, had an xG of 2.11 compared to the Bianconeri’s 1.66, and had seven shots on target to four. Truth be told, Juve should have had more than four.

Under Calzona, the Azzurri resorted to their short passing game, whereas the Bianconeri were quicker, more direct, and more vertical in their passing. It took the technical quality of Kvaratskhelia to break the deadlock, and after a VAR review noticed the foul from Nonge, Raspadori was quick to save Osimhen’s blushes.

In previous matches over the years, Napoli would have lost their nerve, and end the match empty handed. This time, they were able to weather the storm, and maintain their bright start under the new tactician. Winning a match like this is great for building momentum, especially they are confident of securing qualification for a European competition in 2024/25.


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