Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Napoli causing Juventus problems as Sarri revels in crucial win

SoccerNews in Serie A 19 Mar 2018

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Maurizio Sarri believes Napoli are causing Juventus “real problems”, though he conceded dethroning the Italian champions will be very difficult despite closing within two points of the Serie A leaders.

Napoli boosted their Scudetto chances with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Genoa on Sunday – centre-back Raul Albiol scoring the winner.

Seeking their first Serie A title since 1989-90, Napoli had the chance to reduce Juve’s lead atop the table after Massimiliano Allegri’s men were held to a shock draw by SPAL on Saturday and they capitalised.

“At this stage last season, Juventus had basically already won the title, so this means we are causing them real problems,” Sarri told Mediaset Premium. “It’ll be very difficult.”

Only two points separate Juve and Napoli with nine matches remaining, which includes a blockbuster meeting in Turin on April 22.

Asked if Napoli’s hopes rest in their own hands, Sarri replied: “It’s hard to say. If it was up to me, we’d march on the palace and take back power.

“But we can only try to go as far as possible and do as well as possible.

“This is already the second-best campaign in Napoli’s history in terms of points, so we’ll keep pushing.”

Goalscorer Albiol added: “We want to try to the end and keep our chances alive. We know that Juve are strong and are working hard to compete with them. There are nine games left. If we want to win the Scudetto, we have to win all nine.

“We have to improve and keep growing, as we do every year. Juventus have won six Scudetti in a row, so to compete with them we must really step up the level and pick up a huge number of points. We are the only side competing with Juve and that shows what great work we’ve done.”

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