Resurgent Juventus climbed into the top half in Serie A for the first time this season as they edged past Sampdoria at the Allianz Stadium to make it back-to-back wins.
A much-changed Juventus took to the field, but it was Paulo Dybala - one of five survivors from the side that came from behind to beat Spezia 3-2 on Wednesday - who opened the scoring when, after just 10 minutes, he drilled a shot into the bottom corner from outside the penalty area. Sadly, the goalscorer limped off in tears just moments later after picking up a knock.
The injury momentarily sapped the energy from the Old Lady's game. However, a controversial decision allowed Leonardo Bonucci to double their advantage in the 43rd-minute from the penalty spot after Nicola Murru was deemed to have handled Federico Chiesa's shot.
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Juventus' deputy goalkeeper Mattia Perin, handed his first start since April 2019, was beaten as Sampdoria halved the deficit just a minute later through Maya Yoshida's header.

Juventus' Argentine forward Paulo Dybala (2ndL) celebrates after opening the scoring during the Italian Serie A football match between Juventus and Sampdoria on September 26, 2021 at the Juventus stadium in Turin.

Image credit: Getty Images

The home side's nerves were eased 12 minutes into the restart when Manuel Locatelli restored their two-goal advantage with his first goal for the club since his transfer from Sassuolo.
Sampdoria refused to be beaten, however. With seven minutes remaining, Antonio Candreva smashed home a first-time shot to set up an intriguing finale, but Max Allegri's side held on, with victory moving them up to eighth in the early league table.

TALKING POINT - Concerns at both ends of the pitch for Allegri

With two wins in four days, six goals scored in the process and a much improved league position, on paper it looks like the perfect week for Juventus after a most difficult start to the campaign.
However, the injury to Dybala will be most concerning. The 27-year-old had looked sharp and capped a brief but promising performance with a lovely goal. After an injury-plagued recent spell, it's just his misfortune that his game ended prematurely, with the sight of him leaving in tears a worrying sight. It's understood the knock is an aggravation of an old injury, which is obviously a real blow for Dybala just when he looked to be building a head of steam.

TURIN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 26: Paulo Dybala of Juventus walks off with an injury during the Serie A match between Juventus and UC Sampdoria at Allianz Stadium on September 26, 2021 in Turin, Italy.

Image credit: Getty Images

Allegri faces a headache at the opposite end of the pitch too as Juventus continue to leak goals. It is 20 league games since they last kept a clean sheet - a run that dates back to March this year.

MAN OF THE MATCH - Federico Chiesa (Juventus)

After a slow start to the season interrupted by injury, Chiesa is beginning to find his groove. For the second successive game, he was Juventus' best player, a constant livewire who was always likely to make something happen.

PLAYER RATINGS

Juventus: Perin 6, Cuadrado 7, Bonucci 7, De Ligt 7, Alex Sandro 6, Bernardeschi 6, Bentancur 7, Locatelli 7, Chiesa 8*, Morata 7, Dybala 6.. subs: Kulusevski 7, Ramsey 6, Chiellini 6, Kean N/A, McKennie N/A
Sampdoria: Audero 5, Bereszynski 5, Yoshida 7, Colley 7, Murru 7, Candreva 7, Thorsby 5, Ekdal 6, Depaoli 5, Caputo 6, Quagliarella 6.. subs: Damsgaard 5, Silva 5, Augello 5, Torregrossa 5

KEY MOMENTS

10' - GOAL! Juventus 1-0 Sampdoria (Paulo Dybala): Once again this season, Juve race into a lead! Having seen his shot charged down, Locatelli has a second bite of the cherry but instead opts to lay it off to Dybala. He hits it first time and the ball curls it into the bottom right corner.
22' - Injury! The goalscorer Dybala leaves the pitch in tears having picked up a knock of some sort and he's replaced by Dejan Kulusevski. That's a huge blow for Juve!
41' - Penalty to Juventus! Chiesa's shot is blocked by Murru's hand, but it certainly wasn't intentional by the Sampdoria defender. The referee points to the spot, which is a harsh call. It's going to VAR and the decision stands!
43' - GOAL! Juventus 2-0 Sampdoria (Leonardo Bonucci, pen): The veteran coolly tucks his penalty into the left corner to settle Juventus' nerves.
44' - GOAL! Juventus 2-1 Sampdoria (Maya Yoshida): Game on! Sampdoria take a short corner, Candreva whips a deadly cross into the middle and Yoshida gets in front of Bonucci to glance a header into the corner. The last touch may have even come off the Juve defender!
57' - GOAL! Juventus 3-1 Sampdoria (Manuel Locatelli): Locatelli opens his account for Juventus to restore the home side's two-goal lead! Chiesa makes a dangerous run into the penalty area but overdoes it. Kulusevski keeps it alive down the left, however, and with the goalkeeper in no man's land, he rolls it back to give Locatelli a tap-in!
83' - GOAL! Juventus 3-2 Sampdoria (Antonio Candreva): Juventus continue to make life difficult for themselves! Silva pulls a ball back from the by-line and Candreva smashes it home to leave Juventus nerves jangling once more!

KEY STATS

  • Juventus veteran defender Leonard Bonucci took and converted his first Serie A penalty.
  • This was Massimiliano Allegri's 400th Serie A game as a manager - 195 have been with Juventus (243 wins, 79 draws and 77 defeats).
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