19.11.2017 17:28 - in: Match report S

      Sampdoria prevail at the Marassi

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      Two Juventus goals in injury time by Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala are not enough to stop the Blucerchiati winning 3-2 in Genoa

      Juventus fell to their second reverse of the 2017/18 Serie A season on Sunday afternoon, as Sampdoria maintained their 100% home record with a 3-2 victory at the Marassi.

      Despite creating chances aplenty throughout the match, the Bianconeri had to wait until injury time to score their goals – Gonzalo Higuain’s penalty in the 91st minute and Paulo Dybala in the 93rd – after Sampdoria had taken a commanding 3-0 lead through second-half strikes by Duvan Zapata (52), Lucas Torreira (71) and Gian Marco Ferrari (79).

      The result leaves Massimiliano Allegri’s men four points adrift of table-topping Napoli (35) after 13 matches this season.


      Juventus could and perhaps should have taken the lead as early as the second minute when Federico Bernardeschi, starting in place of Dybala, found Higuain with a perfectly-weighted through ball, but Pipita – one on one with keeper, Emiliano Viviano – saw his effort deflected agonisingly wide of the target.

      Mario Mandzukic and Juan Cuadrado also got away shots soon afterwards, as the visitors enjoyed an encouraging start to the match, and in the 27th minute Higuain had the ball in the back of the net, but was flagged for offside.

      Cuadrado – making his 100th appearance for Juventus – almost celebrated the milestone with the opening goal on the half-hour mark: the Colombian, picked out by a great pass by Pipita, was just a matter of feet from the goal-line when he sent a rasping drive that deflected off Viviano’s back and out, but no corner was awarded.

      Having barely threatened for the first 40 minutes, Samp began to up the ante at the end of the half, but Juve’s central defensive pairing of Daniele Rugani and Giorgio Chiellini – wearing the captain’s armband at the Marassi – dealt well with a momentary barrage of crosses whipped in to their box.

      On the stroke of half-time, Sami Khedira hammered narrowly wide on the half volley and moments later, Juve appeals for handball on Cuadrado’s cross into the box were turned down, as referee Marco Guida called time on a goalless opening 45 minutes.


      Juve began the second half brightly, with Higuain’s powerful shot deflected inches away from goal and Rugani heading the resulting corner over the bar, but it would be Sampdoria to take the lead with only their first shot on target when Zapata capitalised on some uncertain defending by the Bianconeri to head into the far corner.

      Moments later, Sampdoria very nearly doubled their lead when Zapata raced on to Fabio Quagliarella’s pass and was one on one with Wojciech Szczesny, who made an excellent stop to keep the scores at 1-0.

      Down the other end of the field, Dybala and Miralem Pjanic both saw shots blocked, while Viviano also made two crucial interventions to prevent Khedira from tapping in from close range and plucking Cuadrado’s cross from the air to end a dangerous Juventus counter-attack.

      With 20 minutes remaining, however, Sampdoria applied a hammer blow to Bianconeri hopes of a revival, with two clinical strikes: first Luca Torreira arrowed an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner and then Gian Marco Ferrari turned in the hosts’ third from point-blank range.


      Douglas Costa, a late substitution for Cuadrado, forced Viviano into a smart reflex save soon after coming on and the Brazilian would then win a penalty kick after being fouled in the box by Ivan Strinic.

      Higuain confidently slotted home from the spot, sending Viviano the wrong way for his sixth goal in five games.

      And two minutes later, Dybala drove in a brilliant shot to haul the Bianconeri within touching distance of a draw that had seemed completely out of reach.

      In a fraught finale to the match, Juve pressed for an equaliser, but Higuain was flagged offside in the final play, as Guida blew his whistle to confirm Sampdoria’s 3-2 win.

      The Bianconeri are back in action on Wednesday night, when they take on Barcelona in the Champions League at Allianz Stadium.

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