Federico Chiesa Cancelled Out A Dries Mertens Strike As Juventus And Napoli Played Out A 1-1 Draw

Thursday’s game was in doubt right until kick-off due to a coronavirus outbreak in the visitors’ camp that left them without a number of players, as well as boss Luciano Spalletti.

Napoli led at half-time through Mertens’ low drive, but returning winger Chiesa equalised for Juventus early in the second half and that is how the open and lively contest finished.

Juve are now unbeaten in six and move to within three points of fourth-placed Atalanta, who have a game in hand, while Napoli stay in third.

Weston McKennie headed wide from a glorious position and Chiesa, who missed Juve’s previous six games with a thigh injury, tested David Ospina in a bright start for the hosts.

It was Napoli who took the lead with 23 minutes played, however, thanks to a Mertens effort that beat Wojciech Szczesny and covering defender Matthijs de Ligt on the line.

Alvaro Morata miscued wide from Juve’s next big chance, but the hosts were level soon after as Chiesa’s shot deflected off Stanislav Lobotka and left Ospina wrong-footed.

Chiesa would have had a quickfire second if not for a good stop from the Napoli keeper, while Szczesny was equal to Mertens’ shot at the other end as the contest opened up.

Despite the best efforts of Juve, including a scrambled Ospina save to keep out substitute Paulo Dybala, there was to be no winner in both sides’ first game of 2022.

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