In the big battle at the top of Serie A, leaders Juventus beat second-placed Napoli with two goals in two minutes from Martín Cáceres and Paul Pogba.
With the international break , anticipation had been building for two weeks for this contest between the top two sides in Serie A. They had recently played in last term’s Coppa Italia final and this season’s Supercoppa, winning one each, and headed into this encounter level on points and unbeaten in the league after seven matches.
Napoli started the brightest of the two sides and it was Edinson Cavani who came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half. The Uruguayan striker showing his class with a brilliant free-kick that hit the crossbar with Juventus goalkeeper Marco Storari, deputising for the injured Gianluigi Buffon, well beaten.
Juve’s first serious attempt on goal came in added time when Claudio Marchisio’s 20-yard effort was tipped over the crossbar by Morgan de Sanctis.
The longer the game went on, the more it seemed that Napoli were looking to settle for a point. I really think that Napoli manager Walter Mazzarri got his tactics wrong in the second half, as Napoli started playing deeper, inviting Juventus to attack them.
And with ten minutes to go, those tactics backfired when substitutes Caceres and Pogba came on to win the match.
With almost his first touch, Caceres put Juve in front in the 80th minute, heading home Pirlo’s corner. It was a committed header on Caceres part, but poor defending from Napoli.
Two minutes later, it was game over for Napoli as Paolo Cannavaro’s clearance looped up and Pogba struck it first time with a fine left-foot volley from 25 yards which found the bottom right-hand corner of De Sanctis’ goal.
The Bianconeri stay unbeaten and are now three points clear atop the standings.