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Napoli Stun Leaders Juventus

Napoli were able to inflict only a second defeat on Juventus for the season, claiming a 2-0 victory at the Stadio San Paolo on Sunday evening. 

The Azzurri could have had a larger scoreline if it wasn’t for a stellar performance by Gianluigi Buffon in goal for the Bianconeri, as Jose Callejon and Dries Mertens found the back of the net.  

Twenty points separated the two teams coming into the fixture, and after suffering a 3-0 defeat in the first leg, Napoli were looking to extract revenge as Juve had to do without their leading scorer Carlos Tevez. 

The home side immediately stated their intentions when they saw Gokhan Inler’s shot toe-poked by Jose Callejon from close two-yards out and he drew a nervy save out of Gianluigi Buffon. 

Napoli had the ball in the back of the net two minutes later when Marek Hamsik tapped it in at the near post, only to see it ruled out for offside. 

Rafael Benitez’s men were doing well to peg the champions back, but were struggling to make more threatening attacks at goal despite their positive start. 

Callejon was again denied by Buffon, who parried his strike on the half hour, before Inler was booked for a foul on Giorgio Chiellini. 

But there was nothing the Juventus goalkeeper could on 36 minutes to prevent Callejon’s goal as he turned in Lorenzo Insigne’s cross to hand Napoli a deserved lead. 

Pablo Osvaldo tried to level things with his trademark acrobatic kicks but he could only steer his effort wide of goal just as Chiellini concluded the half with a shot from distance. 

It could have been 2-0 on the hour mark if it wasn’t for the gloves of Buffon, who pushed Faouzi Ghoulam’s free-kick over the crossbar.

Juventus had no answers to salvage some form of a result as they fell to a shock defeat, as Dries Mertens secured the win with ten minutes to go. The Belgian came off the bench and burst through the offside trap to hold off a defender and slice a ball into the back of the net. 

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