Sampdoria 3:2 Juventus - Bianconeri lack motivation to finish season with a win

Claudio Villa

Sampdoria join Bayern as the only team to have beaten Juventus twice in the 2012/2013 season.

POST-GAME REFLECTION

With nothing to play for in their last game of the season, Sampdoria and Juventus played an open 90 minutes that ended with many chances for both sides and 5 goals total. Unfortunately, Sampdoria was the team to take the three points at the end - a feat they've achieved twice this season against Juventus in just as many games. Lack of motivation or not, you have to hand it to Sampdoria for being the only team to do that against the Serie A champions this year.

On a rainy Saturday night in Genoa, Juventus came out with a squad full of players that haven't been first choice this season for Antonio Conte. The only regulars in the line up were Bonucci, Pirlo, and Chiellini, the last one being named the captain in Buffon's absence. Isla was given another chance to "shine" on the right flank, while Quagliarella and Giovinco formed the attacking duo.

The first half started sloppy, as our defense's comical errors gave the Blucerchiati some hope in the first 25 minutes. Otherwise, the Bianconeri controlled the tempo and and after testing Da Costa from afar on several occasions, finally took the lead through Quagliarella on 25 minutes (from a beautiful pass over the defense by Pirlo). Sampdoria caught a lucky break half an hour in the game and won a soft penalty in Juve's box. Both teams had a goal a piece at halftime.

In the second 45 minutes, Sampdoria opened up a bit more and attacked Storari's goal with more vigor. By Isla's lack of concentration (and man-marking) gave De Silvestri a lot of room to head home a Sampa corner in the 57th minute, while Icardi made 3-1 on a counter attack from a Juve corner.

Giaccherini's beautiful goal in injury time made the defeat a little more respectable for the Bianconeri.

LE PAGELLE

Storari: 6.5 - For having conceded three goals, he had a pretty decent game. Made his saves well and couldn't really do anything on the goals. It must have been weird for him to be subbed off mid game but Conte was surely feeling experimental on Saturday.

Caceres: 7 - He completed all but one of his 76 passes on the night and was solid in defense. Tried to push up a bit but always had Padoin and Isla in front of him.

Bonucci: 6 - Looked like he was already planning his vacation this summer and lacked concentration from the start.

Chiellini: 7.5 - Was up for the game since minute 1. Vividly motivated by the captains band on his arm, he tried to lead the team with his performance. Not only was he solid in defense, but he had many decent shots on goal too. Didn't deserve to have a penalty called against him but oh well.

Isla: 6 - Having seen a lot more minutes lately, Mauricio was fit and ready to show his skill - something he hadn't had the chance to all season. He ran a lot, was always pushing up in attack and dropping back on defense, but contributed very little of substance during the game. Had many misplaced crosses and let De Silvestri have a free header for Sampdoria's second goal. Still not impressed by Isla.

Pirlo: 7 - I would've loved to see Marrone in his position, but Conte felt he needed some veteran leadership in midfield and he was correct. Pirlo's delicious passing put our strikers in great positions to score throughout the game, and il Professore had a very composed game overall with very few mistakes.

Padoin: 6 - Simone ran a lot, battled hard, and was the invisible all-effort-no-skill utility man Conte expects him to be.

Giaccherini: 7 - Seeing Estagarribia play a good game for Sampdoria reinforced my opinion that while Giacc can be a somewhat worthy bench/depth player at Juventus, he'd be much better suited at a lower quality team like Sampdoria. His goal was beautiful even though it came a bit too late for Juventus.

De Ceglie: 6.5 - Was this the last game Paolino has played in a Juventus jersey? As usual, he played 90 minutes full of effort, randomly useful crosses, and nothing that really made him stand out.

Giovinco: 6.5 - Seba played a very unselfish match which, at least to me, was very refreshing to see. He is usually forcing shots and forward runs at multiple defenders to prove his worth to Conte, but on Saturday he played a more relaxed, team game. His set up for Padoin's one-on-one and Giaccherini's volley on the left were beautiful. Unfortunately, he once again failed to impress and I won't be too surprised if he left Juve this summer too.

Quagliarella: 7 - Scored a funky goal, shot often and well, and had opportunities to score a hat-trick. I will personally be surprised if he stays at Juventus for next season.

Subs:

Lichtsteiner: sv

Rubinho: sv

Bendtner: He somehow managed to break his wrist in the short time he was on the pitch, but despite his failed spell at Juventus I was happy to hear his surgery went well. Best of luck to you Nicklas, may we not see you near a Juve locker room ever again!

Coach:

Conte: 6.5 - I was relieved to see he cared little about this game. Knowing his attitude, I feared he would chase another perfection game on a meaningless night but glad he could look at the bigger picture here. He had another spectacular season and I cannot wait to see what he can do with our hopefully-improved squad next year!

SIAMO NOI, SIAMO NOI, CAMPIONI D'ITALIA SIAMO NOI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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