Juventus secured a thrilling 4-3 win over Napoli in Turin on Saturday evening.
Danilo and Gonzalo Higuain struck in quick succession around the 20-minute mark to put the hosts 2-0 up before Cristiano Ronaldo seemingly put the result beyond doubt with an hour played.
Within six minutes, though, Napoli pulled it back to 3-2 and looked to have snatched an unlikely draw through Giovanni Di Lorenzo, who scored their third in the 81st minute.
But Juve maintained their perfect start to the Serie A season, courtesy of a freak own-goal by Kalidou Koulibaly deep into stoppage time.
Juventus assistant Giovanni Martusciello - Maurizio Sarri’s deputy while the 60-year-old recovers from pneumonia - knew his side were lucky to take three points in the end.
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“You can concede goals, but not three in 16 minutes. Perhaps we felt sated by going 3-0 up and allowed Napoli to bite back,” he told Sky Sports Italia, via Goal.
“When there are errors of positioning and then reaction, you're going to concede goals against players of this quality. I want to focus on the very positive performance in the first hour, but some fear set in after they got back into it.”
Matthijs de Ligt - who made his debut in the absence of injured captain Giorgio Chiellini - was arguably a large part of why Napoli were allowed back into the contest.
The £67.5 million signing lost track of Kostas Manolas as he nodded in the Partenopei’s first goal, and he did the same for their second through Hirving Lozano.
Three minutes later, De Ligt found himself on the floor after trying to defend a rampaging Lozano during a fast break.
Lastly, he was too easily beaten to the ball by Giovanni Di Lorenzo, who bundled home a Piotr Zielinkski free kick from close range.
Despite all the pressure on his shoulders, few would’ve expected De Ligt to be so shaky in his first competitive outing for Juventus.
However, it’s worth remembering that even Ronaldo didn’t the ground running.
“De Ligt is still a little bit behind in terms of learning the movements and being part of the defensive unit,” Martusciello said.
“He has arrived in a difficult league like Serie A from a very different team, but he has a great deal of quality, is very intelligent and will learn quickly. He had a very good hour too, so he's getting there.
“We had hoped for more time to get him settled, but unfortunately Giorgio Chiellini had that serious injury and changed the plans.”
De Ligt has two weeks to get up to speed with Juve’s next match against Fiorentina on September 15.News Now - Sport News