Napoli, Juventus play 1-1 draw in Serie A

Massimiliano Allegri hailed the 1-1 Serie A draw recorded by his Juventus side at Napoli on Sunday as showing the mark of champions.

Ahead of Juve's clash with Napoli, the FC panel debate if Gonzalo Higuain's psyche is affected when it comes to big games.

Allegri told juventus.com: "Higuain played a good game, especially in the first half and at the beginning of the second".

Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri said that he was happy to have earned a point in a hard match.

"First of all we're in a good period, because with a month-and-a-half to go we're playing for the final of the Coppa Italia, for the chance to go to the Champions League Semi-Finals and we're now still first in the Scudetto race", Allegri pointed out.

Naplo coach Maurizio Sarri said that they stamped their authority on Juventus, who are knwon for their rock solid defensive structure.

"Napoli are a team that play in a similar way to Barcelona, making Wednesday's game an even more important test", said Allegri, whose side face Barca in the last eight of the Champions League this month.

The home side, once again in their white change kit, fell behind after just 7 minutes as Sami Khedira played a delightful one-two on the edge of the box and the weak left arm of Rafael could do nothing to stop the ball bobbling into the net. Despite the bright start, Juventus played deep in defence for much of the game with the likes of Marek Hamsik, Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne putting the pressure on veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. "It wasn't an easy night for him because he is a sensitive guy, but he had a good match".

Higuain endured a quiet game and was whistled mercilessly by the unforgiving home supporters as his goalless run extended to five games, but the point is more useful to Juve than Napoli.

AC Milan's hopes of a return to European football next season suffered a setback earlier in the day when they were held to a 1-1 draw at lowly Pescara. Surprise package Atalanta's fine season continues as they recorded a resounding 5-0 win away at Genoa courtesy a hattrick by captain Alejandro Gomez, standing two points behind Lazio at fifth.

Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko had kept Roma's title hopes ticking over on Saturday with both goals in a 2-0 win over Empoli.

All eyes on the Coppa Italia semi-final second leg in Vinovo today.

  • Leroy Wright