Napoli fought back from 3-0 down with three goals in 16 minutes only for Juventus to win it in stoppages with a Kalidou Koulibaly own goal.
This was a very early Scudetto showdown, but Maurizio Sarri was still not allowed on the touchline after a bout of pneumonia, so the former Napoli boss watched on from a box in the stands. Giorgio Chiellini was also out, having torn his ACL yesterday in an injury that could keep him out for six months, so Matthijs de Ligt made his Serie A debut. Faouzi Ghoulam came in for Mario Rui, but Arkadiusz Milik didn’t make the trip and new buy Hirving Lozano was on the bench.
Cristiano Ronaldo stung Alex Meret’s gloves from a tight angle, but Wojciech Szczesny made a sensational one-handed save to push Allan’s screamer round the post from the edge of the box.
Mattia De Sciglio limped off with a muscular problem to make way for Danilo, who scored 26 seconds later. Leonardo Bonucci charged down Lorenzo Insigne’s shot with his face and Juve went on a rapid counter-attack with Douglas Costa, Danilo prodding in the finish with the inside of the right boot from 10 yards. The former Manchester City man could not have made a more immediate impact off the bench in his Serie A debut.
However, Juve added a second three minutes later with ex-Napoli striker Higuain. Pipita gathered with his back to goal, turned on a sixpence to leave Kalidou Koulibaly rooted to the spot and blasted into the far top corner.
Considering Napoli only won 4-3 at Fiorentina in their season opener, the defensive record is going to concern Carlo Ancelotti.
It was very nearly 3-0, as Sami Khedira was sent clear through the middle, but Alex Meret came flying out for a desperate save one-on-one.
Khedira went even closer soon after, his curler bouncing off the crossbar and ricocheting kindly for Meret to get it clear.
Despite conceding five goals in one-and-a-half games, Ancelotti doubled down by introducing Chucky Lozano for his debut and Mario Rui after the break. Insigne went off with a slight knock, while Faouzi Ghoulam was on a yellow card.
Dries Mertens skimmed the far post with a curler and had another fingertipped out from under the bar, while Meret palmed a Blaise Matuidi strike past the upright.
Juventus made it 3-0 as Douglas Costa pulled back from the by-line for Cristiano Ronaldo, who backed off defenders to create just that yard of space he needed to drill into the bottom corner from 12 yards.
Napoli got one back straight away, a free kick floated in for the looping header of Kostas Manolas into the far top corner.
It was another sudden surge of activity, as two minutes later it was 3-2 with a goal on Chucky Lozano’s debut. Piotr Zielinski burst away down the left and rolled across for the Mexico international to slide in, anticipating Matthijs de Ligt. He became the first Mexican ever to score in Serie A and the first Napoli player to net on his debut since Lorenzo Tonelli in 2017.
The game was turned on its head and Napoli were now pouring forward, but at the other end Meret flew to fingertip a Douglas Costa scorcher on to the crossbar.
Szczesny fumbled a swerving Fabian Ruiz attempt, doing just enough to push it away from Lozano at the back post, but Napoli completed the comeback from 3-0 down to 3-3 in 16 minutes.
Zielinski put another free kick across the six-yard box and Giovanni Di Lorenzo got in front of De Ligt to bundle it over the line with his thigh. Incredibly, all three Napoli goals were scored by summer signings.
Douglas Costa’s curler skimmed the bar, but deep into stoppages there was another astonishing twist in this game. A free kick seemed to be going nowhere particularly dangerous, Koulibaly was in acres of space to make the clearance, but shinned it backwards into the top corner of his own net. The man who scored the stoppage-time winner here in April 2018 ended up gifting Juve the victory at the same minute.
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