Napoli fought back from 0-3 down against the Italian champions Juventus to level at 3-3, before a bizarre own goal from Kalidou Koulibaly gave the home side a late 4-3 victory over their rivals.
The thrilling encounter at Juve’s Allianz Stadium was a definite contender for game of the season.
The champions made light of the absence of captain Giorgio Chiellini, out with anterior cruciate ligament knee injury, and Sarri, who is battling pneumonia and was not on the bench.
Danilo opened the scoring, less than a minute after entering the field to replace the injured Mattia De Sciglio. Then a stunning strike from Higuain doubled the score, and Juve looked out of sight within the opening 20 minutes.
Douglas Costa was a threat throughout the game. He sprinted to the byline, and cut the ball back into the penalty area and found Cristiano Ronaldo.
It wasn’t the cleanest of strikes when Ronaldo met the ball with his left foot, however, the ball was out of the reach of Napoli keeper Meret when it bounced into the corner. 3-0 to Juventus.
At that point, the game seemed beyond Napoli, or so we thought.
Kostas Manolas, Hirving Lozano and Giovanni Di Lorenzo looked to have stolen an incredible point for Napoli, scoring three goals in 15 minutes.
However, a last-gasp own goal by Kalidou Koulibaly clinched all three points for Maurizio Sarri’s side, and made it a nightmare end for Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
The Senegal international shanked in Paulo Dybala’s free-kick under no pressure in the second minute of stoppage time, to hand Juve the three points in Turin, leaving Napoli with nothing to show for their efforts.
Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly offered his apologies after his late own goal, secured a dramatic 4-3 Serie A victory for Juventus on Saturday.
“It’s an own goal that hurts me because it came after an incredible comeback,” Koulibaly said.
“I’m sorry but I have to – we have to accept it: we are strong. We have shown that. We’re going to prove it,” he added.
Other Serie A results
Earlier in the day, Turkey midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu claimed AC Milan’s first victory of the season after scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win over newly-promoted Brescia.
The 25-year-old connected with a cross from Spanish winger Suso to head a 12th-minute winner after Milan had lost their opener to Udinese last weekend.