Federico Chiesa and Aaron Ramsey give Juventus win at Sampdoria
Serie A, Stadio Luigi Ferraris - Sampdoria 0 Juventus 2 (Chiesa 20', Ramsey 90')
Juventus' midfielder Federico Chiesa of Italy (1st-L) celebrates after scoring with his teammates during the Italian Serie A football match Sampdoria vs Juventus played behind closed doors on January 30, 2021 at the Luigi Ferraris Stadium in Genoa
Juventus sent a message to their Serie A title rivals with a solid and controlled victory against a brave Sampdoria side at Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
After dominating the first half, the champions found it more difficult later on but kept their cool to complete the job in the end.
The hosts started well, but Juve soon took the initiative and, after 20 minutes, the lead. Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata linked up to find Federico Chiesa, who was left with a simple tap-in for his fifth goal of the season.
While Fabio Quagliarella and Keita Balde were huffing and puffing at the other end, Juve looked to add a second before half time. Ronaldo had become more heavily involved, and gave Samp a scare with two chances in quick succession.
First, his shot from distance deflected over the bar, before he was forced wide by goalkeeper Emil Audero and failed to keep his effort on target.
Just three minutes remained in the first half when former Southampton defender Maya Yoshida timed his challenge on Ronaldo perfectly to deny him another strike at goal in the area.
Samp came out fighting after the break and would have levelled through Quagliarella, who turns 38 tomorrow, but Giogio Chiellini came out of nowhere to block the veteran's effort after he brought the ball down expertly.
Moments later, Quagliarella pounced on a mistake by Leonardo Bonucci and forced Wojciech Sczesny into his first save of the evening from a tight angle.
The home side pushed for an equaliser, but left space in behind and, in stoppage time, Juve picked them off on the break. Juan Cuadrado unselfishly laid on substitute Aaron Ramsey to wrap up the points for the Old Lady.
TALKING POINT - Juve march on despite frustrating second half
Andrea Pirlo's side played some excellent football in the opening exchanges here, and after a difficult start to the season, they are finally making themselves heard. It wasn't an easy evening, though, as Samp sensed their chance to cause an upset at times. Ronaldo has also gone three games without scoring for the first time in over a year.
Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo during the Serie A match between UC Sampdoria and Juventus at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on January 30, 2021 in Genoa, Italy
Image credit: Getty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH - Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)
Chiellini didn't have a great deal to do, but he was there when Juve needed him the most. That block from Quagliarella was a crucial moment, and the defender maintained composure throughout. While Ronaldo was misfiring, he certainly wasn't.
Juventus player Giorgio Chiellini during the Serie A match between UC Sampdoria and Juventus at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on January 30, 2021 in Genoa, Italy