Juan Cuadrado fires Juventus past Sampdoria to maintain Serie A lead
Sampdoria 0 - 1 Juventus

Juan Cuadrado fires Juventus past Sampdoria to maintain Serie A lead

20/03/2017

Juan Cuadrado's seventh-minute goal helped Juventus preserve their dominant lead at the top of the Serie A table while ending Sampdoria's unbeaten run.

The 1-0 victory at the Marassi means Juve are once again 10 points clear of Napoli, who beat Empoli earlier on Sunday, with only nine games of the season remaining.

Chelsea loanee Cuadrado missed last week's victory over AC Milan but featured in the Champions League win over Porto, and that 45-minute outing put the energy in his legs he needed to race in behind the Samp back line and nod in a sumptuous Kwadwo Asamoah cross.

The Blucerchiati, who had won five and drawn two of their last seven games, offered little attacking threat but proved hard to break down, and they head into the international break occupying a comfortable ninth-place berth in the league.

Former Juve striker Fabio Quagliarella gave his old employers an early fright when he fizzed an angled drive past the far post in the sixth minute.

It was a false dawn for Samp, though, as the visitors responded by taking the lead. Asamoah's rainbow cross skipped into Cuadrado's trajectory and, after the flying Colombian dropped a shoulder to get past Vasco Regini, he headed the ball home from inside the six-yard box.

Juve almost doubled their lead when Mario Mandzukic aimed a boot at goalkeeper Christian Puggioni's poor clearance, but Bianconeri hitman Gonzalo Higuain accidentally blocked the shot on the goal-line.

Puggioni stood tall to deny Higuain with a fine stop some moments later and, on the brink of half-time, the former Chievo keeper leapt across his goal to punch the Argentinian's venomous left-footed effort to safety.

There was little to write home about in the second half, but shortly after the hour mark Gianluigi Buffon reached a personal milestone. The 39-year-old keeper became the Juve player with the most Serie A minutes -- 39,681 to be precise -- when the 65th minute ticked by.

An injury suffered by Samp's regular impact substitute Patrik Schick forced his premature removal, taking the sting out of their game plan and convincing Juve they could sleepwalk towards the three points.

They were nearly punished for their apathy when Dennis Praet got loose down the right before pinging a cross into the box that would have found the back of the net had any teammate made contact with it.

Praet, the Belgian winger, then caused more trouble for the Bianconeri when he picked out Quagliarella in a shooting position, but the wily forward shot over.

Related news

Napoli squeeze past SPAL

Napoli squeeze past SPAL

Napoli stayed one point ahead of Juventus at the top of Serie A on Sunday after both teams won their ninth league games in a row, this time beating SPAL and Torino 1-0 respectively.

Alex Sandro leads Juventus past Torino but Gonzalo Higuain departs injured

Alex Sandro leads Juventus past Torino but Gonzalo Higuain departs injured

Juventus climbed above Napoli with a 1-0 victory at Torino that maintains their pursuit of the Serie A title.

Inter Milan fall away to Genoa and into fourth place in Serie A

Inter Milan fall away to Genoa and into fourth place in Serie A

Inter Milan dropped to fourth place in Serie A after falling 2-0 at Genoa on Saturday.

Roma move up to third place with victory at Udinese

Roma move up to third place with victory at Udinese

Roma moved up to third in the Serie A table as second-half goals from Cengiz Under and Diego Perotti helped them to a 2-0 win at Udinese.

Yann Karamoh scores on first Serie A start to end Inter's winless run

Yann Karamoh scores on first Serie A start to end Inter's winless run

Yann Karamoh's first goal for Inter Milan settled their fraught 2-1 victory over nine-man Bologna at San Siro.

Napoli go top after thrashing Lazio

Napoli go top after thrashing Lazio

Napoli came from behind to produce a stunning 4-1 victory against Lazio to storm back to the top of the Serie A table.

Patrick Cutrone leads AC Milan to convincing win against SPAL

Patrick Cutrone leads AC Milan to convincing win against SPAL

Patrick Cutrone scored twice as AC Milan won 4-0 at SPAL to keep up their recent good form.

Juve win after Fiorentina have penalty revoked by VAR

Juve win after Fiorentina have penalty revoked by VAR

Juventus defeated Fiorentina 2-0 in Gianluigi Buffon's 500th league match for the club to leapfrog Napoli at the top of Serie A.

Diego Laxalt gives Genoa late winner to stun Lazio

Diego Laxalt gives Genoa late winner to stun Lazio

Diego Laxalt snatched a last-gasp victory for Genoa as Lazio fell further away from the title race with a 2-1 defeat at the Stadio Olimpico.

RELATED NEWS

Napoli squeeze past SPAL
Napoli 1 - 0 SPAL

Napoli squeeze past SPAL

Napoli stayed one point ahead of Juventus at the top of Serie A on Sunday after both teams won their ninth league games in a row, this time beating SPAL and Torino 1-0 respectively.

Alex Sandro leads Juventus past Torino but Gonzalo Higuain departs injured
Torino 0 - 1 Juventus

Alex Sandro leads Juventus past Torino but Gonzalo Higuain departs injured

Juventus climbed above Napoli with a 1-0 victory at Torino that maintains their pursuit of the Serie A title.

Inter Milan fall away to Genoa and into fourth place in Serie A
Genoa 2 - 0 Inter Milan

Inter Milan fall away to Genoa and into fourth place in Serie A

Inter Milan dropped to fourth place in Serie A after falling 2-0 at Genoa on Saturday.

Roma move up to third place with victory at Udinese
Udinese 0 - 2 Roma

Roma move up to third place with victory at Udinese

Roma moved up to third in the Serie A table as second-half goals from Cengiz Under and Diego Perotti helped them to a 2-0 win at Udinese.

Yann Karamoh scores on first Serie A start to end Inter's winless run
Inter Milan 2-1 Bologna

Yann Karamoh scores on first Serie A start to end Inter's winless run

Yann Karamoh's first goal for Inter Milan settled their fraught 2-1 victory over nine-man Bologna at San Siro.

Napoli go top after thrashing Lazio
Napoli 4 - 1 Lazio

Napoli go top after thrashing Lazio

Napoli came from behind to produce a stunning 4-1 victory against Lazio to storm back to the top of the Serie A table.

Patrick Cutrone leads AC Milan to convincing win against SPAL
SPAL 0 - 4 AC Milan

Patrick Cutrone leads AC Milan to convincing win against SPAL

Patrick Cutrone scored twice as AC Milan won 4-0 at SPAL to keep up their recent good form.

Juve win after Fiorentina have penalty revoked by VAR
Fiorentina 0 - 2 Juventus

Juve win after Fiorentina have penalty revoked by VAR

Juventus defeated Fiorentina 2-0 in Gianluigi Buffon's 500th league match for the club to leapfrog Napoli at the top of Serie A.

Diego Laxalt gives Genoa late winner to stun Lazio
Lazio 1 - 2 Genoa

Diego Laxalt gives Genoa late winner to stun Lazio

Diego Laxalt snatched a last-gasp victory for Genoa as Lazio fell further away from the title race with a 2-1 defeat at the Stadio Olimpico.