Juventus vs. Sampdoria  1 - 2

Article

Buffon takes rap for Juve loss

7 January 2013 04:12

Gianluigi Buffon has chosen to shoulder some of the blame for Juventus’ 2-1 defeat to Sampdoria on Sunday afternoon.

The Bianconeri started 2013 in a fashion which will not be considered ideal, but remain top of Serie A on 44 points, five ahead of second-placed Lazio.

Mauro Icardi scored both second-half goals for the winning visitors after Sebastian Giovinco had put juve into the lead in the first 45 minutes, but the Italy goalkeeper believes that he should have saved one of the strikes at least.

"I'm sorry because my error compromised three points which seemed almost certain," Buffon told the club’s official website.

"I was still moving my feet back when Icardi got his shot away, leaving me off balance. I don't usually commit such errors, but this time I was too far forward.

"The second goal was different because I would have had to pull off a truly special save to keep it out. Having said that, I wouldn't have been surprised if I'd had managed to do so."

The shot-stopper added: "In the dressing room we vowed to put the game to bed by taking to the field with the right attitude, because we couldn't let the match go by and run the risk of not winning.

"Instead we lost our focus, committed some mistakes and allowed them to counter-attack us.

"Immediately after the first goal I looked at the clock and saw there was plenty of time remaining, so I thought we'd perhaps be able to win it regardless."

Disappointed Juve fans will be relieved to hear that Claudio Marchisio has not suffered the season-ending injury which many feared he might have done in the clash with Sampdoria.

The Azzurri midfielder underwent an MRI scan after the match on Sunday evening which revealed heavy bruising but no broken bones or torn ligaments.

Article

Conte rues wasteful Juventus as Rossi celebrates

6 January 2013 19:24

Antonio Conte insisted his side should have been awarded two penalties following Juventus' shock 2-1 Serie A defeat to Sampdoria on Sunday.

The Turin giants took the lead midway through the first half when Sebastian Giovinco converted a spot kick, but they were seemingly denied a second penalty later on after a duel between Alessandro Matri and Angelo Palombo.

That allowed Mauro Icardi to strike twice and inflict a surprise loss on the reigning champions at Juventus Stadium, with Conte less than impressed after the full-time whistle.

"I think that it was a clear penalty. I am a coach and my opinion can be a bit coloured, but this was a spot kick. I don't know how neither the referee, nor the fourth official managed to spot it," the 43-year-old told reporters.

"Of course I am not satisfied with the result. I am never pleased when I lose. People who know me know that I hate to lose. We were ahead and deserved to win it.

"We have to reflect on this game and learn from our mistakes. Sampdoria did well to get back in the game, but we have ourselves to blame for the loss."

Sampdoria counterpart Delio Rossi hailed his side's win as 'an incredible achievement', particularly after coming from a goal down and with 10 men.

"I am very happy, above all for the guys, as this was an incredible achievement," a jubilant Rossi said.

"We won against the champions of Italy while playing with 10 men. I made a tactical adjustment during the half-time break, but the lads were amazing in completing this comeback.

"Perhaps Juve weren't as unstoppable as on previous occasions and it certainly wasn't their best performance.

"I had to put faith in the players and I think they have the quality needed to survive in Serie A. We have to find at least three teams to put behind us in the table and so far it is happening."

Rossi has changed the shape of the Sampdoria team since taking over from Ciro Ferrara last month, introducing a 3-5-2 formation and recalling two players who had been left out by the previous coach.

"(Angelo) Palombo is an experienced player in a very young squad. I don't know why he was left out for the rest of the season, but he has the right character to play in defence," he said.

"As for Icardi, I find it ridiculous that we were expected to send him to an Under-20 tournament when he'd have a much better chance of making his mark against Juventus."

Juventus remain first in Serie A with 44 points from 19 games, while Sampdoria climbed to 14th with 20 points.

Article

Conte eyes double to seal Juve status

5 January 2013 13:41

Antonio Conte believes that winning the double this season would prove that Juventus' Serie A triumph last season was no coincidence.

The club were crowned Italian champions without losing a match in 2011-12, but the 43-year-old is determined to show that his side are creating a lasting legacy.

"Winning the Scudetto can be a one-off, but doing the double means that we are building something truly important here," he told reporters.

"The Champions League is also a wonderful dream that we should keep chasing. However, we must also know how to be patient and focus on our project of growth."

Juventus host Sampdoria on Sunday as they return to domestic action, and the former Siena boss urged his side to remain alert and prepare for the game properly.

"There are always risks after coming back from a break, but we have worked very well over the last few days. Sampdoria are a well-drilled side in a difficult position that they are unaccustomed to," Conte said.

"We need to be alert, but we are fully prepared for this encounter."

Juventus have been boosted by the arrival of Federico Peluso on loan from Atalanta, and Conte is confident that he will prove to be a shrewd acquisition.

"Peluso can cover several roles and represents an intelligent signing. I'm convinced he will make a big contribution to Juventus," he said.

Article

Rossi looks beyond Pirlo threat

5 January 2013 00:04

Sampdoria coach Delio Rossi says his players will not focus on restricting Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo when the teams meet on Sunday.

Many sides opt to man-mark the veteran Italy international such is his talent on the ball, to varying degrees of success.

However, the midfielder is just one of a host of concerns for Sampdoria coach, who believes his side have a chance of beating Juve but said it will not be remotely easy.

"I'm not a technician who likes to match up with the opponent's formation," he told a press conference.

"They are a very strong side, but we believe we can win.

"We will not focus purely on Andrea Pirlo - he is a special player, but there are others who can cause us problems."

Sampdoria sit 15th in Serie A after 18 games in the 2012/13 campaign, just two points above the relegation zone.

Antonio Conte's men, on the other hand, are seven points clear at the top of the table on 44 points and are in a solid position to retain the Scudetto.

Serie A table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +47 87
2 38 +37 78
3 38 +28 72
4 38 +28 70
5 38 +14 66
6 38 +15 62
7 38 +9 61
8 38 +4 56
9 38 -2 54
10 38 -1 49
11 38 -12 47
12 38 -15 45
13 38 -6 44
14 38 -8 42
15 38 -17 40
16 38 -9 39
17 38 -14 38
18 38 -20 32
19 38 -21 30
20 38 -57 22