Juve-Samp Talking Points
A hat-trick of assists in just thirty-two minutes. Douglas Costa’s entrance in the 44th minute for Miralem Pjanic well and truly changed the game. Up until that point, Juve had played well but lacked the final killer ball to unlock Sampdoria’s defence.
There were no such problems with Costa on the pitch, whose very first touch set up Mario Mandzukic on the stroke of half-time. The Brazilian stood up the perfect chipped cross for Benedikt Höwedes to power home a header on the hour-mark and, 15 minutes later, he dribbled his way to the byline before cutting back the perfect pass for Sami Khedira to complete the 3-0 victory.
Ever since Opta has been collecting data since the 2004/05 season, no substitute had ever registered three assists in a single Serie A match.
SUPER MARIO STRIKES AGAIN
After striking twice in Madrid, Mandzukic was among the goals again at Allianz Stadium with his third contribution in as many days.
The Croatian latched on to Douglas Costa’s cross into the box to blast home on the volley just moments before the break.
HOWEDES HEADS HOME DEBUT GOAL
It was a special day to remember for Höwedes, who helped himself to his first ever goal in the black and white of Juventus.
The German was making only his second appearance for the club, having returned from a second long-term injury of the season, and he graced it with a well-taken headed finish to send Juventus 2-0 to the good after 60 minutes.
Höwedes had built up a reputation for his heading prowess at Schalke and the Bianconeri fans definitely enjoyed seeing him score this one for them at the Allianz.
SAMI TURNS ON THE STYLE
Not since 1993 have two Germans scored in the same Serie A match for Juventus. Jürgen Kohler and Andreas Möller were the goalscorers on that occasion. Twenty-five years later, Höwedes and Khedira etched their names into Bianconeri history.
Sami certainly had Costa to thank for serving the chance on a silver plate for him to guide a low shot into the corner. However, this was a typically composed finish from an incredibly dependable player, who is providing the goods week in and week out for Juventus.
SUPER GIGI KEEPS CLEAN SHEET
Cheered vociferously by the home crowd during the warm-ups, throughout the match and of course after the win, Gianluigi Buffon came up with the perfect response to the disappointment of Wednesday night: a brilliant clean sheet.
Juve’s Numero Uno denied dangerous efforts from Fabio Quagliarella – midway through the first half – and Duvan Zapata – on the stroke of full-time – to ensure that the Bianconeri also had a shutout to celebrate beyond the three points.
SIX POINTS CLEAR
Sunday’s win opens up a six-point lead over second-placed Napoli, who were held to a goalless draw by Milan earlier in the day, with seven Serie A matches left to play.
The Bianconeri are in action again on Wednesday night with a trip to Crotone before next Sunday’s showdown against their main Scudetto rivals, Napoli, at Allianz Stadium.