The Bianconeri left to rue their misfortune as Sampdoria snatch a 2-1 victory at Juventus Stadium
The Bianconeri were left to rue their misfortune as Sampdoria emerged victorious from the first fixture of 2013 at Juventus Stadium.
Antonio Conte’s men controlled the game from start to finish but were punished by two breakaway goals after having taken a deserved first-half lead through Sebastian Giovinco’s penalty.
Juventus began brightly and carved out their first goalscoring opportunity inside the opening five minutes, with Giovinco a whisker away from diverting De Ceglie’s teasing cross past Romero.
Yet Sampdoria, who approached the game on the back of three consecutive defeats, proved they weren’t just in Turin to make up the numbers when Poli drilled in a low attempt which was thwarted by Buffon’s diving save on 18 minutes.
Two minutes later, however, the Bianconeri were almost in front. Giovinco showed good skill to evade the attentions of his marker and rifle in a shot on the turn, forcing Romero into a fine one-handed stop.
As Juventus continued to press forward in search of an opening, their dominance was finally rewarded when Marchisio broke into the box with a trademark burst from midfield and was scythed down by Berardi’s clumsy challenge. Valeri showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot, leaving Giovinco to do the rest with a crisp finish into the bottom corner from 12 yards.
Inspired by their lead, Conte’s men went inches away from extending their advantage on the half-hour mark. Matri swiveled in a crowded penalty area and prodded the ball goalwards, only for Romero to successfully prevent the former Cagliari frontman’s effort from crossing the line.
Now up against a relentless Bianconeri onslaught, Sampdoria’s task appeared even more arduous when Berardi was handed his second yellow following a crude lunge on Barzagli.
Having used the interval to regroup, Rossi’s charges clawed their way back into the encounter on 52 minutes. A speculative long punt forward found its way to Icardi, and the striker saw his first-time attempt squirm out of Buffon’s grasp and bounce over the line.
In an effort to tip the balance back in the Bianconeri’s favour, Conte freshened up his strikeforce by introducing Vucinic and Quagliarella in place of De Ceglie and Matri.
But despite the hosts gaining increased potency in attack, Sampdoria continued to remain a threat on the break and almost took the lead through efforts from Poli and Eder. Their counter-attacking approach eventually paid off shortly afterwards as Icardi silenced Juventus Stadium by fizzing a fierce attempt into the roof of the net from a seemingly impossible angle.
It appeared destined to be one of those days for Juventus, who went agonisingly close to gaining the equaliser their efforts more than merited when Vucinic rattled the crossbar from inside the area on 73 minutes.
However, following four minutes of added time and a host of frantic attempts to restore parity, Valeri blew his whistle to condemn the Bianconeri to their third defeat of the season.
Conte’s men remain top of Serie A with a five-point lead and will look to return to winning ways when Milan travel to Turin for Wednesday night’s Coppa Italia quarter-final showdown.
JUVENTUS 1-2 SAMPDORIA
GOALS: Giovinco (pen) 24, Icardi 52, Icardi 69
Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Peluso; Padoin, Pogba (Giaccherini 71), Pirlo, Marchisio, De Ceglie (Vucinic 61); Matri (Quagliarella 61), Giovinco
Substitutes not used: Storari, Branescu, Caceres, Marrone, Isla, Vidal.
Romero; Gastaldello, Palombo, Costa; Berardi, Obiang, Krsticic (Tissone 80), Poli, Estigarribia (De Silvestri 46); Eder (Munari 76), Icardi
Substitutes not used: Da Costa, Berni, Castellini, Mustafi, Poulsen, Rossini, Renan, Savic.
ASSISTANTS: Di Fiore, Costanzo
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Bianchi
BOOKED: Poli 17, Berardi 23, Pogba 27, Berardi 32, Bonucci 38, Krsticic 76, Romero 83, Peluso 87, Pirlo 90+4, Icardi 90+4
SENT OFF: Berardi 32