Juventus’ off the field problems involving Antonio Conte recieving a 10 month ban didn’t affect the Italian champions in the first match of the 2012-2013 season, beating Napoli 4-2 in the Supercoppa Italiana, winning the title for the first time since 2005 and starting 2012 on a very promising note.
The matches in China do tend to give a more festive but less aggressive feel to these matches, but that wasn’t the case this time. Napoli had two players, Goran Pandev and Juan Zuniga sent off, and that wasn’t the end of it as head coach Walter Mazzarri was thrown out. The fact that Napoli were the better team early on and probably for most of the match didn’t really help.
Edinson Cavani opened the scoring but Kwadwo Asamoah opened his Juventus account on his debut. Goran Pandev gave Napoli the lead again, but things turned around in the Champions’ favor, although it took them sometime, until Arturo Vidal’s goal in the 74th minute to send the match into overtime. Napoli fell off the wheels quickly after, but they had their chances in extra time. They just also had some bad luck with an own goal and a finishing goal from Mirko Vucinic.
Last words? The Series A is quite open this season, but Napoli, despite this loss and the loss of Lavezzi, have as good of a chance as any other team to go for the title, maybe even better thanks to the familiarity factor that the squad has. Juventus, the champions, are the only team that probably have a better shot of winning the title, and they proved it by getting a right-footed start to a seasons that might see them return to greatness in more than just the local scene.