Cristiano Ronaldo scored as Juventus beat Napoli at home in Turin to stay within 11 points of Inter Milan in the race for the 2020-21 Italian Serie A title.
Ronaldo opened the scoring for the 36-time champions who are on the verge of missing out on a 10th consecutive domestic league title.
Paulo Dybala added a second before Lorenzo Insigne grabbed a consolation from the penalty spot in the 90th minute in a game that saw Napoli slip to 5th in the league, just outside the UEFA Champions League places after Atalanta won their game 3-2 against Udinese.
Juventus started off on the front foot as Federico Chiesa slipped past 2 Napoli defenders down the right hand side before pulling the ball back to an unmarked Ronaldo in the middle of the box that the Portuguese captain comfortably slotted home to give the Bianconeri the lead in the 13th minute.
Napoli had a few chances to equalise in the first half but failed to do so as Juve kept their 1-0 lead in tact at the break.
Paulo Dybala scored in the 73rd minute to double the home team’s advantage after he was played in by Rodrigo Bentancur just inside the box that the Argentinian curled into the back of the net to make it 2-0.
Andrea Pirlo’s side then conceded a penalty in the 90th minute as Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne stepped up to take and he made no mistake in despatching it past Gianluigi Buffon by sending him the wrong way to make it 2-1 but it was all too late for the away side.
Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo was under the scanner after picking up just one point from the previous two games in the Serie A against strugglers Benevento and Torino. The win against one of the Italian giants – Napoli will help the Italian legend.
“I have got a lot of things wrong, but I would do them all again because the first year as a coach is not easy,” Pirlo said.
“You throw yourself into it with your ideas and try to have things in mind to transmit to the team. Sometimes you do well, sometimes you make mistakes.
“I made mistakes like everyone does, but I can draw conclusions from them and not repeat them in the future.”
Juventus are now on 59 points from their 29 games, 12 behind league leaders Inter. It now seems like the Italian champions will have to wait for their Scudetto as Inter are almost there with just 9 games to play.