Napoli move closer to Serie A title with dramatic win over Juventus

Serie A leaders Napoli took a giant step towards the title as they edged out Juventus in stunning fashion away from home to assume a 17-point lead at the top of the table.

Napoli are one step closer to clinching the Serie A title after a stoppage-time winner from Giacomo Raspadori earned a 1-0 win away to Juventus that extended their lead at the top of the standings to 17 points.

We just stopped playing’ – Allegri and Juventus left to rue Napoli’s late winner

Massimiliano Allegri saw Juventus suffered a last-gasp defeat to NapoliMassimiliano Allegri saw Juventus suffered a last-gasp defeat to Napoli

Massimiliano Allegri was left to rue Juventus’ “slow and static” defending after Napoli snatched a dramatic late winner at the Allianz Stadium.

A generally dull contest was settled in the third minute of stoppage time, when Giacamo Raspadori’s thumping volley edged the runaway Serie A leaders ever closer to clinching the Scudetto.

The Juve defence were caught napping as Luciano Spalletti’s side snatched all three points, and Allegri admitted he expects higher standards from his players.

“It’s disappointing to lose a game like that, but we should’ve done better on the goal,” he told DAZN. “We just stopped playing and absolutely need to do better in that sense.

“It’s simple, just look at the move, we are at the 93rd minute and ought to have bodies into the box to defend.

“This is part of the growth process for players, something we take for granted. We were too slow and static in reacting to the ball in that situation.”

Juventus saw two goals disallowed in the final 20 minutes, with Angel Di Maria and Dusan Vlahovic both denied, but Allegri refused to blame referee Michael Fabbri for the result.

“We need to stay calm, accept as we always have done the refereeing decisions – good or bad,” the head coach added. “Otherwise, we waste energy, because we cannot change the result now.

“The referee was very good today, I congratulate him on his performance.”

It was the Bianconeri’s first league outing since the reversal of their 15-point deduction, lifting them to third in the table with 59 points – three ahead of Roma and Milan in fourth and fifth respectively.

Nevertheless, Juve still trail Napoli by 19 points and, while praising his players’ attitudes in adversity, Allegri hopes they can close the gap and launch a greater title challenge next season.

This is a surreal situation we were in, and the lads were marvellous,” he said.

“We had some difficulties this season, especially after the 15-point penalty. We’ve still got a lead over Milan and Inter, so now we must pick up the points we are missing.

“This is a season that will help us grow a great deal and next year, we’ll be right back up there fighting for the Scudetto.”

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