Juventus on the Brink of Title as Napoli Stumble

Napoli fell to a shock 2-1 defeat by relegation-threatened Empoli on Wednesday, opening the way for Juventus to claim an eighth consecutive Scudetto from as early as this weekend.

Juventus beat Cagliari 2-0 on Tuesday in a game overshadowed by the racist abuse of Moise Kean and Blaise Matuidi in Sardinia and now have an 18-point lead on second-placed Napoli.

The Turin giants play AC Milan at home in the Italian derby this weekend, and would claim another title if they open up a 21-point gap on Napoli.

Juventus, who are currently missing Cristiano Ronaldo through a thigh injury, would need to beat AC Milan and for Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli to lose to Genoa on Sunday in order to seal the championship.

Diego Farias opened the scoring on 28 minutes for the hosts in Tuscany with a shot which took a deflection off Napoli midfielder Piotr Zielinski.

Former Empoli loanee Zielinski made up for his error just before the break with a superb shot from distance to equalise.

But Giovanni Di Lorenzo sealed a precious three points for Empoli on 53 minutes, with the strugglers holding on to move out of the bottom three.

“We deserved to lose,” said Ancelotti after his side’s fifth defeat this season, as they prepare for next week’s Europa League quarterfinal first leg against Arsenal.

“We have to roll up our sleeves and think about the next game. We were messy, inattentive, we didn’t follow plans.

“It was a subdued performance in general. We lacked ideas and legs.”

Elsewhere, Mauro Icardi marked his return after nearly two months out amid a contract dispute which saw him stripped of the captaincy by scoring Inter’s second goal from the spot in a 4-0 thrashing of Genoa.

Inter, in third, lost 1-0 to Lazio last weekend but have again reduced the gap on Napoli to seven points, and are four ahead of AC Milan who were held 1-1 by Udinese on Tuesday.

The battle for the final Champions League berth remains tight with Atalanta, Lazio and Roma all within touching distance.

, ,

Leave a Reply