the republic logo

Juventus beats Napoli 3-1 in party atmosphere to celebrate league and cup double

bug
Share/Save/Bookmark

MILAN — Juventus beat Napoli 3-1 in Serie A on Saturday as it celebrated winning the double of the Italian league and cup in a party atmosphere in Turin.

Stefano Sturaro put Juventus in front with a spectacular first goal for the club and Simone Pepe sealed the win from the spot after Napoli defender Miguel Britos was sent off in stoppage time for headbutting Alvaro Morata.

"Today is a perfect day," Sturaro said. "There's a great crowd, and I couldn't have imagined a better day."

Napoli's Champions League hopes are all but over as it remained three points behind third-place Lazio ahead of the Rome derby on Monday. It cannot now catch second-placed Roma and needs Lazio to lose the derby to leave it all to play for when the two meet in the final match of the season.

In the evening match, Genoa snatched a late 3-2 victory over Inter Milan to boost its hopes of qualifying for Europe.

There was a special atmosphere at the Juventus Stadium, in the final home match of the season, and the team paraded the Italian Cup before kickoff, while it was presented with its fourth successive Serie A trophy after the match.

Massimiliano Allegri can clinch an impressive treble in his first year in charge if Juventus beats Barcelona in the Champions League final on June 6.

"Now we'll enjoy these deserved three days off after a stressful period," Juventus captain and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon said. "Then the countdown will start for our most important game in the last 12 years. But tonight we'll celebrate, we really want to be together and share these achievements."

Juventus took the lead in the 13th minute with a well-worked move, which Roberto Pereyra finished off after beating the offside trap and controlling Kingsley Coman's delightful chipped pass.

There was a touching moment in the 39th minute when the crowd unveiled a tribute to the 39 fans who died in the Heysel tragedy, ahead of the 1985 European Cup final between Juventus and Liverpool.

A huge number 39 was displayed as well as a long banner with the words "no one really dies if they live on in the hearts of those who remain, forever" and the fans held up placards with the names of the victims.

PHOTO: Juventus' Carlos Tevez, right, hugs his son Lito Junior as he celebrates at the end of a Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Napoli at the Juventus stadium, in Turin, Italy, Saturday, May 23, 2015. Juventus beat Napoli 3-1 in Serie A on Saturday as it celebrated winning the double of the Italian league and cup in a party atmosphere in Turin. (Andrea Di Marco/ANSA via AP)
Juventus' Carlos Tevez, right, hugs his son Lito Junior as he celebrates at the end of a Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Napoli at the Juventus stadium, in Turin, Italy, Saturday, May 23, 2015. Juventus beat Napoli 3-1 in Serie A on Saturday as it celebrated winning the double of the Italian league and cup in a party atmosphere in Turin. (Andrea Di Marco/ANSA via AP)

Napoli was a different side after the break as Benitez took off the disappointing Gonzalo Higuain and replaced him with Manolo Gabbiadini.

The visitors leveled five minutes later after Kwadwo Asamoah, who was making his first appearance since a knee injury in November, handled Dries Mertens' cross, although it appeared unintentional. Buffon did well to block Lorenzo Insigne's penalty but David Lopez was the quickest to react, firing in the rebound from close range.

David Lopez almost gave Napoli the lead in the 69th but Buffon pulled off a fantastic to save to force the volley over the bar.

And it was Juventus which went back in front eight minutes later when Sturaro gathered with his back to goal, turned Raul Albiol and curled into the top left corner.

Napoli laid siege to the Juventus goal but Britos ended any hopes of a comeback when he deliberately headbutted Morata as the two squared up.

Pepe's goal was his first in three years in what was almost certainly his final home match as his contract, which expires at the end of the season, has not been renewed.

In Genoa, Inter was twice pegged back in a pulsating first half.

Mauro Icardi netted his 20th goal of the season to move level with Juventus striker Carlos Tevez at the top of the scoring charts. He also had two goals ruled out in the space of 10 seconds. Rodrigo Palacio scored Inter's other goal.

Genoa forward Leonardo Pavoletti was on target for the third successive match, while Maxime Lestienne leveled again for the home side, after a collision between Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic and defender Andrea Ranocchia.

Inter twice hit the woodwork in the second half and it was Genoa which scored the winner in the final minute with a towering Juraj Kucka header on an Edenilson free kick.

Genoa moved provisionally fifth, but could be denied entry into the Europa League should it qualify as it is appealing against a decision to deny it a UEFA license.

Inter's hopes of qualifying for Europe grew slimmer, but it could scrape into the Europa League if Genoa's appeal fails and Sampdoria loses both its final matches.

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

Story copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri, left, carries his son Giorgio as he celebrates at the end of a Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Napoli at the Juventus stadium, in Turin, Italy, Saturday, May 23, 2015. Juventus beat Napoli 3-1 in Serie A on Saturday as it celebrated winning the double of the Italian league and cup in a party atmosphere in Turin. (AP Photo/Massimo Pinca)
Click to view (11 Photos)

All content copyright ©2015 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.