15.04.2018 20:15 - in: Match report S

    Three-goal Juve see off Samp!

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    Douglas Costa has a hat-trick of assists for Mandzukic, Howedes and Khedira, as the Bianconeri romp to a 3-0 win at Allianz Stadium

    Juventus went six points clear at the top of the Serie A table with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Sampdoria on Sunday evening at Allianz Stadium.

    Douglas Costa had a hand in all three of the Bianconeri’s goals, providing a trio of excellent assists from which Mario Mandzukic gave the hosts the lead on the stroke of half-time, before Benedikt Howedes and Sami Khedira were the grateful recipients of further Costa magic after the interval.

    Cheered on by a vociferous home crowd, the Bianconeri began brightly as Kwadwo Asamoah, Paulo Dybala and Mandzukic all saw shots fly wide of the target within the first 15 minutes.

    Gianluigi Buffon was called into action midway through the first half to deny former Bianconero, Fabio Quagliarella, from a corner at his near post.

    Samp needed to defend bravely to block Dybala’s trademark left-footed belter and Emiliano Viviano palmed away Mandzukic’s rasping shot, which the Croatian cleverly disguised as a cross, from the right wing.

    With the scores still locked at 0-0 on 45 minutes, Mandzukic made sure that the Bianconeri entered the break with the lead, crashing home on the volley from Douglas Costa’s cross.

    The second half started off with a chance for Sampdoria to draw level when Dawid Kownacki dragged wide after pouncing onto Giorgio Chiellini’s loose pass, before Juve counter-attacked quickly with Costa blazing over the bar down the other end of the field.

    On the hour-mark, however, Costa was the coolest man in the house as he stood up a delightful chipped through ball towards the back post for Howedes to hammer home a header for his first ever goal in black and white.

    Just 15 minutes later, it would turn into an even better day for Juve’s German duo, when Khedira fired into the bottom corner after being served the ball on a silver plate from Douglas Costa, who completed his hat-trick of assists within half an hour of coming on just before the interval.

    What was already a world-class performance from the Brazilian very nearly got even better in the 89th minute, his right-footed shot flying inches wide of the post.

    In stoppage time, there was a fine intervention from Buffon to stop Duvan Zapata from scoring a consolation goal and enable Numero Uno to keep a well-earned clean sheet.

    The win opens up a six-point cushion over Napoli in second place, who were held to a goalless draw by Milan in the afternoon, with seven league matches left to play.

    The Bianconeri are in action again on Wednesday night with a trip to Crotone before next Sunday’s showdown against Napoli at Allianz Stadium.

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