In a match where all eyes were on the likes of Gonzalo Higuain and Paul Pogba, it was substitute Simone Zaza who made the difference for Juventus against SSC Napoli.
The Girlfriend of Italy was in for a last minute pre-Valentine’s Day present, as Simone Zaza’s deflected shot found the back of the net in the 88th minute. The Italian forward had been subbed on for Spaniard Alvaro Morata shortly before the hour mark, and he proved to be the super-sub that Juventus needed.
After the match, the 24-year-old claimed that his goal was a lucky strike, but said that his club could now dictate terms in the Serie A.
“I was lucky, though,” Zaza said, according to ESPN, “It was down to the hard work of my teammates, we all played well in a difficult match.”
“It was tough, we had to deal with all of their counter-attacks, but our goal throughout was to win, and we did it … so that’s OK.”
“Now it all depends on what we do. If we can keep playing that way then no one will take the title away from us. We are now the top dogs.”
The Old Lady presides over the Serie A again
The victory against their closest title rivals could go on to be crucial in the Bianconeri’s hunt for their 5th consecutive Scudetto. This was the first time that Juventus climbed to the top of the table this season after a lacklustre start, as they marched to their 15th league victory on the trot. Meanwhile, Napoli relinquished their 2 point lead following the defeat.
The Old Lady now hold a one point advantage over the Partenopei. That does seem to be a minuscule margin, but with just 13 games to go in the campaign, easy points will be hard to come by. If Juventus continue to play in the same form, then the title truly is theirs to lose.