Juventus made short work of Sampdoria, Giorgio Chiellini getting a surprise brace and Claudio Marchisio’s comeback after six months.
The Bianconeri needed to get back on track after a surprise defeat to Milan reduced their lead at the top to just two points. Samp, on the other hand, were fresh from victory in the Derby della Lanterna and feeling revitalised. Paulo Dybala and Marko Pjaca missed out, so the front two was a forced decision, but Claudio Marchisio made his comeback six months after ACL surgery. Giorgio Chiellini also returned, though Norberto Neto allowed Gigi Buffon some rest. The Blucerchiati were without Emiliano Viviano, Daniel Pavlovic and Carlos Carbonero.
Sampdoria had won this fixture only twice in the last 20 years, in February 2005 and January 2013, falling 5-0 last season.
It took just a few minutes to break through, as Juan Cuadrado shrugged off Vasco Regini and crossed for Mario Mandzukic’s diving header from six yards. The Croatian ended his 764-minute goal drought in all competition for the club.
The second goal was just too simple, as Giorgio Chiellini rose relatively undisturbed to meet a Miralem Pjanic corner.
Gonzalo Higuain drilled on to the side-netting and Samp finally had a chance after 31 minutes when Dani Alves lost possession and Ante Budimir’s angled drive was deflected inches past the far post off Neto’s fingertips.
Patrice Evra went off with a calf injury and made way for Alex Sandro. Higuain threatened again on the stroke of half-time, as he sprung the offside trap and went round Puggioni, but the goalkeeper did well to track back and force him wide.
Sampdoria did pull one back, as Chiellini’s terrible backpass was pounced on by Dennis Praet to set up Patrick Shick for a simple finish.
However, Puggioni used his legs to deny Sami Khedira, then a chaotic move finally ended with Pjanic bundling it over the line to restore Juve’s two-goal cushion.
Chiellini completed his unexpected brace, springing the offside trap to nod in a Cuadrado free kick. It was his first Serie A double since April 2008.
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