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Juventus stay six points clear after holding rivals Napoli

updated 5:54 PM EST, Fri March 1, 2013
Giorgio Chiellini is congratulated by teammates after putting Juventus into the lead at Napoli.
Giorgio Chiellini is congratulated by teammates after putting Juventus into the lead at Napoli.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Juventus hold Napoli to a 1-1 draw at Stadio San Paolo
  • Draw leaves Juventus six points clear of their rivals at the top of Serie A
  • Giorgio Chiellini put Juve ahead in the 10th minute
  • Juventus team coach pelted with missiles on the way to the ground

(CNN) -- Juventus took an important step towards retaining the Serie A title with a battling 1-1 draw at the Stadio San Paolo of nearest rivals Napoli Friday.

Negotiating the testing away fixture with honors even left Juve six points clear of Napoli at the top with just 11 games remaining.

The league leaders had to put an ugly pre-match incident behind them, with Italian news agency ANSA reporting that a window in their team bus was broken by a missile as they traveled to the ground.

Nobody was injured in acts described on Italy's Sky TV by Juve general director Guiseppe Marotta as "deplorable and with little to do with sport."

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The game itself started at a frantic pace with the visitors taking the lead after just 10 minutes as Giorgio Chiellini headed home.

He had been recalled to the starting line-up and connected with an Andrea Pirlo left wing cross to score.

Juve might have added to their advantage while Napoli's leading scorer Edinson Cavani continued his lean spell -- failing to net in his last seven matches.

However, Napoli did level just before the break as Gokhan Inler's fierce shot deflected past Gianluigi Buffon.

The visiting keeper had to save smartly from Marek Hamsik at the start of the second half as Napoli pushed for the winner.

Another Hamsik effort was parried out to Blerim Dzemaili, but the Swiss international wasted the chance.

There was still time for Inler to test Buffon again, but Juventus hang on for a valuable draw.

Antonio Conte's men will now look to secure their place in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, entertaining Scotland's Celtic in midweek and leading 3-1 from the first leg.

But Conte played down premature talk of the Italian championship being wrapped up.

"The title is far away, we are six points in front which is a good advantage

"But there are another 33 available and don't forget we still have to play Milan, Inter and Catania," he told AFP.

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