Sampdoria travelled to the Juventus Stadium on a strong run of form, just outside the Champions League places and having not lost in six games. Sampdoria was in fact the last Italian team to beat Juventus in Turin, recording a 2-1 win in January of 2013, a season in which the Genovese side did the double over Antonio Conte's Scudetto-winning Juventus.
Massimiliano Allegri's Juventus side has struggled a bit for goals of late, coming off consecutive 0-0 draws at Fiorentina and against Atlético Madrid in Turin. This one ended in another draw, and it could have been even worse after a flat second-half performance from the home side, in which Manolo Gabbiadini scored the equalizer and was denied a second by a stunning save from Gianluigi Buffon. With a visit to Cagliari and the home game against Napoli coming before the winter break, Allegri will have all hands on deck to try and inject some life into a sputtering Juventus attack.
Both sides came into the game with a nominal 4-3-1-2 formation, with Roberto Pereyra and Nenad Krstičić taking the free roles behind the strikers. The Argentine got the better of this particular duel, frequently dribbling into the heart of the Sampdoria defense and creating chances for himself and others, while Krstičić struggled to have any influence and was replaced at half.
Up top, Álvaro Morata joined Carlos Tévez in a switch that many had anticipated given Fernando Llorente's poor form in recent weeks. Perhaps a greater surprise was that Andrea Pirlo dropped to the bench, with Allegri preferring Claudio Marchisio at the base of midfield. The legendary midfielder has been in a rut of poor form lately, and with Marchisio recovered from illness Juventus tried to take control with a more physical midfield.
The early signs were very positive from Juventus, as Sampdoria were quickly pinned back into their own half with Paul Pogba and Patrice Evra combining to great effect down the left. One of these early combinations led to the corner kick resulting in the first goal, when Claudio Marchisio's far-post delivery was met powerfully by the French left-back. As the half wore on Sinisa Mihajlović adjusted, moving Krstičić and Eder back into midfield and leaving Stefano Okaka up front alone. The adjustment helped Sampdoria finally get some possession as the first half trickled to an end, but Juventus were well-worth their lead at the interval.
The second half began with the introduction of Manolo Gabbiadini for the ineffective Krstičić, with the left-footed attacker slotting in on the right flank to balance Eder on the left. The co-owned youngster, seemingly bound for Napoli in January, made the telling contribution with his first touches of the game, finishing excellently from the edge of the box following a quick counter down Juventus' right side. Juventus was unable to create many chances even with the added urgency of the 1-1, with Pereyra's curling shot perhaps the best of the lot. Morata and Tévez showed signs of an intriguing partnership, with the Spaniard's pace and energy evident along with with good technique to control in tight spaces, but neither striker was able to really trouble Sergio Romero in the Sampdoria goal.
As time ticked down Juventus continued to control possession high up the pitch, but Sampdoria continued to threaten on the counter, and especially through the substitute Gabbiadini cutting in on his left foot. Evra was able to close down one threatening opportunity, but another shot from the ex-Atalanta player required Buffon to be at his best to save with a strong right hand. Kingsley Coman, Llorente, and Sebastian Giovinco all came off the bench as Allegri tried to breath some life into a stuttering attack, but the pattern of play continued until the final whistle. A disappointing result, especially after the first half-hour, but still a point that keeps Juventus atop the standings ahead of a trip to Cagliari, where there's sure to be plenty of Bianconero in the stands.
It all started so well for Juventus, with the home side taking control almost immediately after Samp kicked off. Early balls into the box came from Stephan Lichtsteiner, Morata, and Pogba, but failed to find their intended targets. "El Tucu" Pereyra showed early signs of intent, with an excellent run through the Sampdoria lines before laying the ball of for Tévez' shot, saved at the near post. Crosses were raining into the box, with Morata and Pereyra just unable to get good contact on their headers. The Spanish striker had a chance with the ball at his feet when Vidal slipped him in, but the angle was against him and Romero stood his ground well.
Pogba and Evra were having their way down Sampdoria's left flank, and won the corner that would get Juventus their lead. A far-post delivery (from just outside the line) was met well by a flying Patrice Evra, who had escaped the attention of Vasco Regini. It was an excellently-timed jump, reminiscent of many goals scored by the left-back in the red of Manchester United.
A questionable offside call denied Tévez a run through on goal, while Morata was rightly flagged off. At this point Sampdoria's best chances were all coming from Juventus errors, with lazy backpasses from Lichtsteiner and Vidal forcing Gianluigi Buffon to rush off his line. Marchisio tried his luck from distance, but wasn't able to beat the Argentine goalkeeper.
In the 28th minute Juve nearly doubled their lead, when an excellent long ball from Leonardo Bonucci found Pogba charging into the box. Fabrizio Cacciatore did everything to put the Frenchman off, grabbing him by the jersey and around the shoulder, but the referee saw nothing wrong. A few minutes later it was Pereyra brought down just outside the box, but the referee again waved play on.
Around the half-hour mark, with Sampdoria now stabilized in a 4-1-4-1, the visitors finally began stringing some passes together and moving up the field. The space they left was almost fatal, with Morata and Pereyra nearly getting in behind, and by the 36th minute Sampdoria owner Massimo Ferrero had seen enough. Angelo Ogbonna did well to control Stefano Okaka in the box, and Buffon was alert to smother a loose ball following a corner pulled back for a shot from distance. Carlos Tévez tried his luck from range but hit the ball straight at Romero, while Arturo Vidal tried and failed to find the killer pass for the second goal.
Manolo Gabbiadini replaced Krstičić at the start of the second half, a move that instantly brought more danger to the Sampdoria attack. Even so the second half began with pressure from Juventus, as Lichtsteiner, Pereyra, and Vidal tried to create chances for teammates. Following a giveaway Arturo Vidal earned Juventus' first yellow card of the night, for a tackle from behind on Angelo Palombo.
Morata and Pereyra combined to put the Argentine through on goal, but his curling effort was fairly comfortable for Romero. From the save Sampdoria broke downfield, with Eder and Regini leaving Juventus players trailing behind. The Brazilian rolled the ball across the top of the box for Gabbiadini, who had all the time he needed to take a touch and fire an excellent shot into the far corner. 1-1.
The Juventus midfield continued trying to create space for a killer ball, but were unable to convert possession into shooting opportunities. Gabbiadini continued to threaten at the other end, playing a dangerous ball in behind for Okaka but his cross was ahead of an onrushing Eder. The young Italian showed that he isn't afraid to take one for the team as well, dragging back Pogba when the French midfielder looked to break into space.
A combination of bad luck, poor form, and deep defending continued to keep Juventus from getting good chances, and for all the crosses pumped in from the flanks Juve never really got good contact on the end of them. Another passing sequence on the edge of the Sampdoria box ended with a poor touch from Tévez, and Eder was off on the counter. Bonucci put an end to the danger, but paid for it with a yellow card that means he will miss the trip to Cagliari.
Llorente came on for Morata, but even the giant Basque was unable to get good contact on a cross, with one ball from Evra bouncing off both Llorente and Tévez with neither able to get a shot off. Arturo Vidal actually had some of the best chances, sending one header over the bar and another into Romero's arms. A slack touch from Pedro Obiang nearly gifted Tévez a run through on goal, but the Sampdoria midfielder recovered in time.
Kingsley Coman came on for Pereyra to add a pit of pace, but ended up running into the same problems as the Argentine, with the Sampdoria backline controlling space well. Pogba nearly broke through from an Evra pass, but Palombo was quick to slide in on the cover. Sampdoria continued to look for Gabbiadini's left-footed shot, but this time Evra was close and shut him down. Seconds later it was Gabbiadini again doing his best Arjen Robben impression. Pogba got caught leaning the wrong way to give him room to shoot, and Buffon was forced into a fantastic save diving to his right.
Arturo Vidal continued to try and create an opening, but the Chilean's form is nowhere near that of last year and nothing seemed to come off for him. Sebastian Giovinco was brought off the bench in place of Tévez, but with only a couple of minutes to go he had little chance to impact the game. Following another poor touch to give the ball away Vidal tried to make up for it and could easily have seen a second yellow for a late tackle on Sampdoria substitute Alfred Duncan.
In stoppage time Vidal sent in a cross looking for Llorente, but Romero was quick to punch the ball away. Marchisio tried his luck from distance once more, but unlike Andrea Pirlo's effort two weeks ago his shot went well over the bar. Sergio Romero saw yellow for time-wasting in the final minute, as Sampdoria held Juventus to a third consecutive draw.
Buffon: 7 Quick off his line several times to clear the danger, Superman made an excellent save on Gabbiadini to keep the game level. Nothing he could do on the goal.
Lichtsteiner: 5.5 Put in a couple of crosses, but was unable to create the same danger as usual. Could have done more to slow Eder and track back in the buildup to Gabbiadini's goal.
Bonucci: 5.5 Generally in control of Okaka, but in the buildup to the goal stepped forward and was beaten too easily by Eder. Played a few nice long passes, but will miss the Cagliari trip due to card accumulation.
Ogbonna: 6 Brought in for Chiellini, the Nigerian-Italian continued his strong performances this season. Left with a huge area to cover after Bonucci and Lichtsteiner got caught upfield, takes little blame for the goal conceded.
Evra: 6.5 Scored his first Juventus goal with an excellent header, and was left fairly isolated against the dangerous Gabbiadini. Combined well with Pogba and put in lots of crosses, but will be disappointed he didn't do more to stop the Sampdoria forward.
Vidal: 5 Tried hard, but his technique let him down more than once on the edge of the Sampdoria box. Could perhaps have done more to slow the counter leading to Sampdoria's goal. Saw yellow early in the second half, and could easily have seen another for a poor tackle on Alfred Duncan.
Marchisio: 6 One of the better performers on the night, Marchisio's energy was important in keeping Sampdoria penned deep in their own half for long periods.
Pogba: 5.5 At times showed his amazing strength and technique when combining with Evra down the flank, but was unable to make a telling contribution. Could perhaps have done more to help Evra with Gabbiadini.
Pereyra: 6 One of the few bright spots for Juventus, the Argentine midfielder continued his strong run of form and seems sure to keep a starting spot. Always driving at the defense, with better finishing he could have won the game for Juventus.
Morata: 5.5 Showed his pace and skill, but was unable to seriously trouble the Sampdoria defense. Always eager to close down and vary his movement, with time those combinations with Tévez and Pereyra will get more precise.
Tévez: 6 Another who can't be faulted for effort, but Tévez' finishing has cooled down since a stunning start to the season. Was perhaps too happy to try his luck from distance.
Llorente: 5 Given 20 minutes in place of Morata, the Basque striker did little to prove he should be starting. Was in the area of a couple crosses, but couldn't trouble Romero.
Coman: 5.5 Brought on for Pereyra the Frenchman tried to inject pace into attack, but couldn't find the space to cause real trouble.
Giovinco: N/A A late run-out for the Juve youth product, in which he hardly had a touch.
Allegri: 5 Began on the front foot with a strong starting lineup that immediately took control, but as the game wore on was slow to react to Sampdoria's changes. Removed Pereyra when he was one of the few players creating anything, and failed to provide help for Evra when Gabbiadini was the obvious danger.
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