Koulibaly gifts Juve thrilling victory

Serie A

Serie A champions Juventus shrugged off a spirited Napoli side to claim a 4-3 victory in a thrilling encounter at the Allianz Stadium on Saturday evening.

Mathijs De Ligt made his first start for Juve in place of Giorgio Chiellini, who is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines, while Paulo Dybala started on the bench yet again.

Juve made an injury enforced substitution on 15 minutes, as Mattia De Sciglio hobbled off following a knock with Danilo coming in. The change led to the opener a minute later as Douglas Costa spearheaded a counter-attack to set-up Danilo, who tapped home with his first touch of the match.

Juve added to their advantage four minutes later as Gonzalo Higuain showed that he still got it with a first-time volley into the far corner after beating Kalidou Koulibaly.

Sami Khedira nearly added to Napoli’s misery on 32 minutes with a chip-shot outside the area, but the crossbar came forth.

Napoli made a double change at the break, as Hirving Lozano and Rui replaced Lorenzo Insigne and Ghoulam respectively.

However, Napoli conceded a third two minutes after the hour mark as Cristiano Ronaldo slotted into the bottom corner from Blaise Matuidi’s low cross.

Six minutes later, Juve conceded their first of the season when Kostas Manolas headed home his first for the club following Rui’s well-weighted cross.

Napoli added another two minutes later as Lozano positioned kindly to side-foot Piotr Zielinski’s delivery past Wojciech Szczesny for his debut strike.

Juve looked to regain their two-goal advantage a minute later, but Costa’s shot rattled the crossbar after cutting from the right flank, before Napoli levelled nine minutes from time as Giovanni Di Lorenzo turned home Jose Callejon’s free-kick.

Juve though snatched all the points when Koulibaly directed Miralem Pjanic’s cross into his own net in added time to leapfrog Inter Milan at the top of the table.