Alvaro Morata and Manuel Locatelli were the only positives as Juventus succumbed to yet another defeat in the new season, losing 2-1 to Napoli.
Napoli started the game on a brighter note than their opponents at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona but it was Juventus who took the lead 11 minutes in as Alvaro Morata forced a mistake from Kostas Manolas before beating David Ospina to make it 1-0. The rest of the first period was short of clear-cut chances for either team as the Bianconeri held on to their narrow lead.
However, the tables would turn after the break as Napoli found a way to equalise with some help from Juventus goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczesny, who palmed an effort from Lorenzo Insigne straight to Matteo Politano to tap it into the back of the net.
With both teams pressing for a winner, Napoli once again had the rub of the green as, late in the game, Juventus new boy Moise Kean inexplicably headed the ball towards his own net, forcing Szczesny into a save. Unfortunately for the Pole, Kalidou Koulibaly was at hand to turn home the rebound and fire the Partenopei to a big win early in the season.
It has been a torrid start to Massimiliano Allegri’s second reign as the Juventus manager, with the club drawing one and losing two of their first three games of the season. Here’s how we rated their performances on the afternoon in Naples.
Wojciech Szczesny: 4/10
— Stephen Cole (@StephenCole1984) September 11, 2021
Another game, another big mistake from the Juventus No. 1. Palmed Insigne’s curling effort right into Politano’s feet when he should have held it, leading to the equaliser. Reacted well to stop Kean from scoring an own goal but could not stop Koulibaly from scoring the match-winner.
Mattia De Sciglio: 6/10
Had his task cut out against the dangerous Lorenzo Insigne in the first period but did well for large parts. However, did not look all too comfortable after shifting out to the left following Luca Pellegrini’s substitution.
Leonardo Bonucci: 6/10
Not one of his best performances. While the veteran centre-half did fairly well to defend the box and was strong in the air, his quality with the ball at his feet in aiding the buildup play was found wanting on the evening.
Giorgio Chiellini: 6/10
Had an interesting duel with Victor Osimhen and did his bit to keep the Napoli forward under wraps. Played some eye-catching forward passes over the course of the game as well. Needed to be more assured when defending set-pieces, especially for the one that led to the second goal for Napoli.
Luca Pellegrini: 6.5/10
The more impressive of the Juventus defenders, Pellegrini did a fine job going up against Politano for most parts of the game while he also showed good intent when going forward, producing a few dangerous crosses as well. Taken off close to the hour mark as Juventus changed shape.
Weston McKennie: 5.5/10
A game of two halves for the USMNT international who has faced a lot of flak of late. Made some progressive forward runs in the first half that caused problems to the home team but regressed quite rapidly over time and was nowhere to be seen in the second half before being withdrawn.
Manuel Locatelli: 7/10
Bravo to Locatelli and Pelligrini. They played brilliantly today. Obviously chiellini as well but these two youngsters deserve credit for the performance they gave today pic.twitter.com/99oEUeHa9Y
— juventus.1996 (@Juventuseditz_) September 11, 2021
Was bossing the midfield in the first period as everything Juventus did went through their new signing. Made good forward passes, kept things ticking along nicely. But levels dipped over the course of the second half, which allowed Napoli to gain a foothold in the game and engineer a comeback.
Adrien Rabiot: 5.5/10
Yet another so-so performance from the Frenchman that had good bits and bad bits. Did well defensively to keep a lid on Fabian Ruiz’s output and even played a few nice forward passes to cut open the defence. However, there were moments when he switched off completely, one of which allowed Politano to score the leveller. Needs to step up.
Federico Bernardeschi: 5/10
Got into some decent positions in the first half, helping stretch the Napoli defence, but the end product was lacking. Like most of his teammates, the Italian international regressed a great deal after the break.
Alvaro Morata: 7/10
📊 | Morata stats vs Napoli:
• 82 Minutes played
• 35 Touches
• 80%➖Passes completed
• 2/5 Aerial duels won
• 2/4 Dribbles completed
• 1/2 Shots on the target
• 2 Key passes
• 2 Clearances
• 1 Goal pic.twitter.com/BZYwIsyCgl
— Nisrin (@NisrinJuve) September 11, 2021
Great presence and pressure to force Manolas into a mistake and then capitalise to score the opening goal for Juventus – his first of the season. Not much came in the way of chances for him beyond that, but continued to toil hard at the top.
Dejan Kulusevski: 5.5/10
A display that promised much but delivered little. There were bright moments with his sharp movement and running, and the intent he showed when on the ball. However, none of that amounted to any significant goal threat, which is ultimately what he needs to provide.
Matthijs de Ligt: 6/10
On for Pellegrini in the 58th minute. Was fairly steady for his half-hour cameo.
Aaron Ramsey: 5/10
Replaced McKennie with a little over 15 minutes left. Not much impact.
Moise Kean: N/A
Came on for Morata in the 82nd minute. Almost scored an own goal, forcing Szczesny into a save which led to the winning strike for Napoli.