Home Football Napoli Slip Up Again To Virtually Hand Serie A Title To Juventus

Napoli Slip Up Again To Virtually Hand Serie A Title To Juventus

NAPLES, ITALY - MAY 06: Players of SSC Napoli show their disappointment after the serie A match between SSC Napoli and Torino FC at Stadio San Paolo on May 6, 2018 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

Juventus are practically assured of winning a seventh successive Serie A title after second-placed Napoli were held 2-2 by Torino on Sunday.

Juventus have a six-point lead in Serie A with two games left to play. Both teams are equal in head-to-head clashes but Juventus are well ahead of their southern rivals on goal difference.

The now need just one point to officially retain their crown with games to come against Roma in the Stadio Olimpico and already-relegated Verona in Turin.

Torino twice battled back from a goal down to steal a point from Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli side who had been bidding for a first title since the days of Argentina legend Diego Maradona in 1987 and 1990.

Dries Mertens celebrated his 31st birthday by putting Napoli ahead after 25 minutes after a shocking defensive error by Torino’s Nicolas Burdisso, with skipper Marek Hamsik coming off the bench to add a second for the hosts after 71 minutes.

But Torino dug deep with Daniele Baselli pulling the visitors level 10 minutes into the second half and Lorenzo De Silvestri heading in seven minutes from time to cancel out Hamsik’s goal.

Napoli’s task became that bit harder after suffering a 3-0 defeat to Fiorentina last weekend, but they still would have been hopeful of restoring their form to put some pressure on Juve going into the final stretch.

Juventus had recovered from a goal down to beat Bologna 3-1 on Saturday to open up a seven-point lead,  and it is one that is now virtually insurmountable.

Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus would have to lose their final two matches and Napoli to achieve high-scoring wins against Sampdoria and Crotone to make up the goal difference. When it is made official, it will mean that the Bianconeri will have won the Italian league for the last seven years running – a record-breaking streak for the nation’s top division.

ea/mw

© Agence France-Presse (with additional edits from Simon O’Keeffe)

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