26.10.2016 22:51 - in: Match report S

      Back to winning ways!

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      A Giorgio Chiellini brace and strikes for Mario Mandzukic and Miralem Pjanic seal the points for Juventus against Sampdoria as Claudio Marchisio returns for the first time since April

      Juventus bounced back in style on Wednesday as a Giorgio Chiellini headed double and close-range efforts for Mario Mandzukic and Miralem Pjanic set up a 4-1 defeat of Sampdoria, a result made all the more special by the return to first team action of Claudio Marchisio after six months on the sidelines.

      While Marchisio’s withdrawal 20 minutes from time attracted arguably the warmest reception of the evening, it was the strikes of Mandzukic, Chiellini – both of the defenders goals headers from set-pieces- and Pjanic that mattered the most in Turin as the champions shrugged off an early second-half revival from the visitors to register their eighth league win of the season.

      On a night of firsts, it would be Super Mario to get things up and running for the champions, the Croatian heading home following excellent work on the wing from Juan Cuadrado for his maiden strike of the campaign on four minutes.

      No sooner had the home faithful settled back down in their seats than the rampant hosts struck again, Giorgio Chiellini thundering home in similar style from a Pjanic corner to make it 2-0, the first of two clinical finishes from Juve’s number 5.

      The Bianconeri might have even added to their tally before the half-hour mark as the ever-impressive Mandzukic – operating as an inside forward on the night – cut back for strike partner Gonzalo Higuain to lash into the side netting from a good position.

      At the other end meanwhile, Neto would have to be at his very best to push away Patrick Schick’s goal-bound toe punt in the final penalty box action of the half.

      That chance signaled an improvement in Sampdoria’s play either side of the interval and the away side deservedly halved the deficit on 57 minutes as Dennis Praet capitalised on a mistake from Chiellini to tee up Schick for a simple tap-in.

      Samp’s hope however was shortlived. Moments after Christian Puggioni had saved sharply from Sami Khedira’s cross-cum-shot the Bianconeri’s advantage was restored, Miralem Pjanic ramming home from close range after a goalmouth scramble for his second home strike of the season.

      The returning Marchisio, as calm and composed as ever in the middle of the park, was afforded a well-earned standing ovation as he jogged off to be replaced by Mario Lemina as Juve cruised through the closing stages, Chiellini adding the cherry on the cake with his second header of the evening three minutes before the final whistle.

      Next up? Napoli.


      Scorers: Mandzukic 4’, Chiellini 9’ 87’, Schick 57’, Pjanic 65’

      Juventus: Neto; Dani Alves, Bonucci, Chiellini, Evra (Alex Sandro 40’); Pjanic (Asamoah 81’), Khedira, Marchisio (Lemina 71’); Cuadrado, Mandzukic, Higuain.

      Unused subs: Audero, Loria, Benatia, Barzagli, Rugani, Lichtsteiner, Hernanes, Kean, Sturaro.

      ​Sampdoria (4-3-1-2): Puggioni; Sala, Silvestre, Skriniar, Regini; Cigarini, Barreto (Djuricic 74’), Alvarez Praet; Budimir (Quagliarella 61’),  Schick (Luis Muriel 60’)

      Unused subs : Tozzo, Amuzie, Krajnc, Pedro Pereira, Eramo, Palombo, Linetty, Fernandes, Torreira.

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