Sampdoria 1-2 Juventus: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Bianconeri Go Top With Hard-Fought Win

​Juventus earned yet another gritty win as a trademark Cristiano Ronaldo header just before half-time proved to be the winner against Sampdoria, sending I Bianconeri top of Serie A.

After a slow start, Maurizio Sarri’s men quickly found their groove and took a 1-0 lead through Paulo Dybala – the Argentine finishing quite wonderfully with a left-footed volley from a deep cross by left-back Alex Sandro.

The visitors began to dominate I Blucerchiati, starving them of possession and pinning them deep in their own half. But despite their control on proceedings, they failed to create anything and they gave the hosts a route back into the game with Gianluca Caprari striking home emphatically after Sandro was dispossessed deep in his own half. 

UC Sampdoria v Juventus - Serie A

The hosts, however, failed to improve and were once again behind after Sandro was given the freedom of Genoa to pick a cross for Ronaldo, who headed home expertly. Trademark Cristiano. 

Manolo Gabbiadini’s introduction just after the hour mark saw the home side improve, and they finally started to take the game to Juve. But, they struggled to work over Juve’s resolute backline from open play, instead relying on set-pieces to create any opportunities. 

A second yellow card for Sampdoria goalscorer Caprari added insult to injury for Ranieri, as his side succumbed to a 2-1 defeat after the visitors had managed the latter stages superbly.


SAMPDORIA

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Audero (6); Murillo (5), Ferrari (5), Colley (6), Murru (7); Depaoli (6), Thorsby (7), Linetty (6), Jankto (5); Ramirez (6), Caprari (5).

Subs: Leris (5), Gabbiadini (6), Augello (6).


JUVENTUS

Key Talking Point

After their dominant display against Udinese on the weekend, Sarri opted to use Dybala, Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain as the most advanced of the trio once more in a bid to break down inferior opposition.

And in the first half, it worked a treat. Dybala proved himself to be the heartbeat of his side as he kept the Old Lady ticking over – scoring an absolute beauty in the process – while Ronaldo looked confident after his brace on Sunday. Sarri’s side were quick, fluid and ultimately dominant in the first half and took a 2-1 lead into the break.

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In the second period, they were certainly sloppier in possession as their chief creators’ influence on proceedings started to dwindle. Adrien Rabiot, mind, did a brilliant job in the middle of the park – on and off the ball.

Sarri will also be pleased with his side’s resilience at the back in the second half. After a shaky start, Leonardo Bonucci and Merih Demiral settled down nicely, preventing the home side from having a sniff from open play.

Nevertheless, it was a crucial win for the Old Lady, who’ve now put the pressure on Inter ahead of their home game against Genoa on Saturday.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Buffon (6); Danilo (5), Bonucci (7), Demiral (6), A.Sandro (7); Pjanic (6), Matuidi (6), Rabiot (8); Dybala (8*); Ronaldo (7), Higuain (6).

Subs: Ramsey (7), Costa (5), De Sciglio (6).


Star Man

Paulo Dybala’s renaissance under Sarri continued on Wednesday night as he was influential at Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

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The masterful technician lined up just behind Ronaldo and Higuain in a number ten role, being given the licence to ‘free roam’ by his Italian manager – popping up almost everywhere in the final third. In between the lines, he was a constant menace, linking up play between the midfield three and the two up top, often using one or two touches to step-up Juve’s tempo in possession. 

Oh, and his goal wasn’t too shabby either. 


Looking Ahead

The winter break means that Sampdoria are now done for the decade. When they return to Serie A action on the first weekend of January, they’ll be travelling to Milan.

Juve, meanwhile, take on Lazio in the Supercoppa Italiana final on Sunday before the Christmas break.


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