Juventus rallies for 3-1 win over Napoli
Turin : Juventus rallied from an early deficit to secure a 3-1 home win over Napoli at Allianz Stadium and extend its lead at the top of the Serie A table to six points.
A brace by Croatia's Mario Mandzukic and a late insurance goal by Leonardo Bonucci on Saturday were more than enough to lift Juventus to its seventh straight league win of the season and eight consecutive victories overall, the club's best start since the 1930-1931 campaign, reports Efe.
Napoli put the hosts under pressure at the outset and managed to gain possession in Juve's territory on several occasions.
The visitors came close to opening the scoring on a long-range shot by Polish midfielder Piotr Zielinski that hit the woodwork.
Belgian forward Dries Mertens then gave Napoli the lead at the 10-minute mark when he finished off a play set up by passes by Brazilian midfielder Allan and Spanish forward Jose Callejon.
Juventus, however, weathered the storm over the next few minutes and then gradually started to seize control on the game thanks to the play of an in-form Cristiano Ronaldo.
The former Real Madrid talisman first threatened Napoli's goal on a shot from outside the area that Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina managed to block.
Then shortly before the half-hour mark Ronaldo sent a perfect cross into the area that Mandzukic headed home to draw Juventus level.
The hosts had all the momentum on their side and a couple of opportunities to take the lead before the intermission, but Ospina stopped a free kick by Ronaldo and a left-footed shot by Argentine forward Paulo Dybala went wide.
But just four minutes into the second half Juventus took the lead for good when Mandzukic put home the rebound after a shot by Ronaldo had ricocheted off the woodwork.
Things then went from bad to worse for Napoli when Portuguese left back Mario Rui was sent off in the 58th minute after being booked twice.
With 14 minutes to go before second-half stoppage time, Bonucci scored an insurance goal for the seven-time defending Serie A champions.
Juventus, which is now well on its way to an eighth consecutive title, leads second-placed Napoli by six points and Seria A heavyweights Roma and Inter Milan by double digits.