Juventus Suffer Shock Defeat At Sampdoria

Sampdoria’s forward Duvan Zapata from Colombia (2nd L) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the Italian Serie A football match Sampdoria Vs Juventus on November 19, 2017 at the ‘Luigi Ferraris’ Stadium in Genoa. Photo: MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Sampdoria ran riot as Serie A champions Juventus lost their both and ground on leaders Napoli in the Italian title race on Sunday suffering a 3-2 setback in Genoa.

Colombian striker Duvan Zapata, Uruguayan Lucas Torreira and Italian defender Gian Marco Ferrari all found the net in the second half as Sampdoria maintained their perfect home record in Genoa this season.

Juventus got two goals back in injury time with Gonzalo Higuain scoring from the spot and substitute Paulo Dybala grabbing a second just before the final whistle.

But it was too late as Juventus fell four points behind leaders Napoli — 2-0 winners over AC Milan on Saturday.

“This was an unexpected slap in the face that really made us lose our cool,” said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri.

“We should have been patient, even if things weren’t going our way. It’s a long game, you have to stay calm.”

Napoli have 35 points from 13 games, with Juventus on 31 and Roma third on 30 with a game in hand, after beating Lazio in a pulsating Rome derby on Saturday.

Inter Milan can move second ahead of Juventus later Sunday when they host Atalanta.

Allegri took a risk as he rested Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Barzagli after Italy’s World Cup play-off defeat with Dybala starting on the bench against a Sampdoria side who have made their home ground a fortress this season.

Sampdoria kept Juventus reined in in the first half with Zapata breaking the deadlock when he headed in after 52 minutes with Torreira firing in the second on 71 minutes and Ferrari a third eight minutes later.

Juventus were awarded a penalty after Ivan Strinic fouled Douglas Costa in the box with Higuain getting the visitors first after 91 minutes, with Dybala added the second in the final action of the game.

Juventus conceded just their second defeat of the season after Lazio, in a blow for Allegri’s side as they prepare to face Barcelona in Champions League next Wednesday.

Earlier Luca Rigoni’s first half goal got new Genoa boss Davide Ballardini off to a winning start with a 1-0 victory at Crotone.

Promoted Benevento suffered their 13th defeat in as many games, falling 2-1 to Sassuolo, as Fiorentina were held 1-1 by SPAL.

Lorenzo Insigne washed away his World Cup woes by starring in Napoli’s 2-1 victory over a struggling but spirited AC Milan on Saturday.

The 26-year-old’s goal in the 33rd minute was given thanks to referee Daniele Doveri consulting the video assistant referee.

Insigne also drew a fine save from Gianluigi Donnarumma on the stroke of half-time and laid on Dries Mertens for a simple chance that the Belgian fired right at the Milan stopper.

Substitute Piotr Zielinski sealed the three points with 17 minutes left.

Milan coach Vincenzo Montella remains under pressure despite a strong second-half performance as his side stay seventh on just 19 points, 11 points away from the Champions League placings, after their sixth defeat in 13 games.

Roma beat Lazio in a pulsating Rome derby thanks to goals from Diego Perotti and Radja Nainggolan.

Ciro Immobile pulled one back from the spot with 18 minutes left after Kostas Manolas’ handball was spotted by the VAR, but Roma held out for a huge win over their local rivals.

For Perotti, his 49th-minute penalty and an assist for Nainggolan’s drilled strike was the continuation of a “rebirth” that saw him called up for Argentina for the first time in six years earlier in the month.

AFP

Higuain Breaks 100-Goal Barrier As Juventus Bury Milan

 

Juventus’ forward Gonzalo Higuain from Argentina celebrates at the end of the Italian Serie A football match AC Milan Vs Juventus on October 28, 2017 at the ‘Giuseppe Meazza’ Stadium in Milan. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Gonzalo Higuain scored in either half to bring his tally of Serie A goals to 101 as Juventus went top of the Italian league with a 2-0 win that plunged AC Milan further into crisis on Saturday.

Higuain opened after 23 minutes in front of a capacity crowd at the San Siro Stadium and grabbed a second on 63 minutes for the six-time reigning champions.

Juventus move provisionally top with 28 points from 11 games just ahead of Napoli — who host Sassuolo on Sunday — on goal difference.

“When they disallowed the goal against SPAL, we said it was my destiny to score the 100th at San Siro! Now it’s 101, not bad,” Higuain told Sky Sport Italia.

“We’re a strong team and when we play like that it’s difficult to beat us,” said Higuain. “It was essential not to concede a goal.

“I don’t listen to criticism, I just always try to be myself and today we had a great team effort.”

Vincenzo Montella’s Milan, who had ended their run of three consecutive defeats at Chievo midweek, had little answer for their northern Italian neighbours.

The future looks increasingly bleak for Montella whose side are now in eighth position, 12 points behind the leaders, and far below their objective of Champions League football next season.

Milan captain Leonardo Bonucci was absent as he completed his two-match ban against his former club.

After early pressure from the hosts, Juventus got into their stride with Paulo Dybala weaving his way through for fellow Argentine Higuain to blast in his 100th league goal after 22 minutes.

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini risked an own goal as he nodded just wide when anticipating Nikola Kalinic.

Croatian striker Kalinic had Milan’s best chance just before the first half whistle but his effort was deflected by goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon onto the crossbar.

Higuain’s second came after Kwadwo Asamoah crossed to Dybala who let the ball pass between his legs for the Argentine marksman to trick Ricardo Rodriguez and rifle past Gianluigi Donnarumma after 63 minutes for his sixth league goal of the season.

“Milan perhaps started stronger, but we played like a great team, we deserved the victory.

“The coach said games never end at San Siro and that is absolutely true. We stayed focussed for the full 90 minutes and made only one mistake, when they hit the bar.

“Now we have to recuperate and focus on the Champions League in Lisbon.”

Leaders Napoli can reclaim top spot when they travel north to Sassuolo, who are just two points above the relegation zone, on Sunday.

Inter Milan two points behind the leaders travel to lowly Verona on Monday.

AS Roma host Bologna later Saturday without Dutch international Rick Karsdorp, who picked up a ruptured cruciate ligament during the week.

AFP

Cagliari Sack Coach Massimo Rastelli

Cagliari’s Italian coach Massimo Rastelli. GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP

Cagliari’s Massimo Rastelli on Tuesday became the first Serie A coach to be sacked this season after the Sardinian club made a poor start to the campaign.

The 48-year-old took over in the 2015-2016 season, guiding Cagliari into the Italian top flight after winning Serie B in 2016.

Last season the club finished 11th but this term are trailing in 14th position with just two wins in eight games, against relegation rivals Crotone and SPAL.

“We thank Rastelli for over two years of work with professionalism and passion,” Cagliari said in a statement.

“He was a protagonist in winning Serie B and in reaching 11th place last season, and we wish him good luck for the rest of his career.”

Coaching assistants Nicola Legrottaglie and Dario Rossi were also sacked in the clearout.

Cagliari are on a run of four straight losses, the most recent a 3-2 defeat at home against Genoa.

Former Pescara coach Massimo Oddo and Giuseppe Iachini, who last season managed Palermo and Udinese, are being touted as possible replacements.

AFP

Seria A: Dybala Hat-Trick Silences Genoa

Juventus’ Argentinian forward Paulo Dybala celebrates after scoring during the Italian Serie A football match Genoa v Juventus at The Luigi Ferraris Stadium in Genoa on August 26, 2017.
Marco BERTORELLO / AFP

Argentina forward Paulo Dybala hit a hat-trick as Juventus recovered from two goals down after a dreadful start to win 4-2 at Genoa in Serie A on Saturday.

With confidence still flying high after last season’s shock 3-1 home win over the champions, Genoa looked on their way to causing another upset after breaching Gianluigi Buffon’s goal twice in the opening minutes.

Seconds into the game the Luigi Ferraris stadium erupted when Goran Pandev skipped past Alex Sandro, rolled the ball across the area and saw his effort deflect off Miralem Pjanic’s knee and into the net.

Memories of last season’s reverse must have come flooding back for visiting coach Massimiliano Allegri, especially when the hosts doubled their lead six minutes later.

For the second successive league game, Juve conceded a penalty following a decision by the video assistant referee (VAR) after defender Daniele Rugani kicked the back of Andrej Galabinov’s heel.

Although Galabinov looked slightly offside, officials consulted the VAR technology to award the penalty, which Galabinov got up to convert.

Juve, however, refused to buckle. Pjanic made part amends for his earlier mishap when he pulled back from the byline for Dybala to beat Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin at his near post before the quarter hour.

The goal was enough to instil Juve confidence and Perin was tested by both Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain shortly after, while Galabinov nodded just wide from Darko Lazovic’s cross at the other end.

Perin, making his first home appearance since rupturing his ACL last season, did well to thwart Dybala twice in succession after he latched on to Pjanic’s pass, scrambling to deny Mario Mandzukic on the follow-up, too.

The VAR was used again, this time to Juve’s advantage, when a penalty was awarded for a Lazovic handball from a Cuadrado pass. Dybala stepped up to convert and level four minutes into first-half stoppage time.

Juve completed their comeback just after the hour thanks to a fine piece of skill from Colombian forward Cuadrado, who controlled Mandzukic’s lob before beating Perin with a left-footed curler into the far top corner.

To their credit, Genoa dug deep and Diego Laxalt was unlucky when his strike skimmed the bottom of the far post, Buffon then hurrying to smother Raffaele Palladino’s close-range effort.

But hopes of snatching a share of the points were tempered by a fine third from Dybala, the diminutive number 10 collecting from Higuain before firing a low drive past Perin.

In Saturday’s late game Roma host Inter Milan and former coach Luciano Spalletti at the Stadio Olimpico.

AFP

UCL: Juventus Ready For Sevilla Clash

juventusJuventus and Sevilla will be hoping to leave their domestic woes behind as they meet in the Champions League Group D clash in Turin.

Both teams have had a difficult start to the season domestically, but put in a more positive performance in the Champions League.

Juventus opened with a 2-1 victory at Manchester City, while Sevilla beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 3-nil.

Serie A Champions, Juventus, who last season reached the Champions League final, have dropped to 15th place in the Serie A, after losing for the third time in six matches this season.

Juventus goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon, said the similarities between the Bianconeri and Sevilla meant both teams would be hungry for a victory on Wednesday.

Bayern Munich Signs Vidal From Juventus

vidalGerman Bundesliga side, Bayern Munich, have confirmed the signing of Arturo Vidal after agreeing a deal believed to be €37 million fee with the Serie A champions, Juventus.

Vidal, who helped Chile to win the Copa America, signed a four-year deal with the Bavarian after successfully undergoing  medical.

Sport Director, Matthias Sammer, told reporters during the unveiling of  Vidal in Munich on Tuesday, that the Chilean signed a contract until 2019 and it contains an option for another year.

Vidal, who has 69 caps for Chile, won four consecutive Serie A titles and one Coppa Italia, as well as helping the club reach May’s Champions League final, where they were beaten by Barcelona.

“I’m very happy,” Vidal told Bayern’s official website. “This is a new step in my career and I hope I do well here. I want to help the team and win trophies. It’s a dream come true for me personally.

Vidal had been a target for the Bavarians when he joined Juve from Bayer Leverkusen for €12.5m in 2011, and Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge strongly criticised the player at the time for opting to move to Turin.

The midfielder, could make his debut in the German Supercup against Wolfsburg on Saturday.

 

Buffon And Chiellini Extend Juventus Contract

BuffonGianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini have signed new contracts with Juventus keeping them at the Serie A club until 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Buffon’s deal was due to expire by the summer of 2015, but his new contract has added 3 more years to his initially 13 years career for his club.

Chiellini, 30, had a contract until the end of this season, too, and has agreed a new deal that would keep him at the club for three additional years.

Club President, Andrea Agnelli, indicated that their leadership was key as their stay with Juventus has been helpful in bringing the club to the top.

“The fact that it will be my last contract was a factor, but I’m not worried about that: I feel energised. As both parties wished to continue, it was the natural choice to extend my contract for another two years. I’ll need energy and courage to make my career last even longer,” Buffon said.

Chiellini also showed his satisfaction by vowing to keep giving his all for the club

Buffon has won five Serie A titles with Juventus, plus two which were taken off the club as part of the 2006 match-fixing scandal.

Juventus Signs Evra From Manchester United

EvraFrance left back, Patrice Evra, has completed a £1.2m move to Juventus from Manchester United, signing a two-year contract with his new club after eight-and-a-half years at Old Trafford.

Evra signed a one-year extension to his contract in May but asked to leave when Juventus approached United over his availability.

The former Monaco defender would have been competing for a starting berth next season against £27m signing, Luke Shaw.

Evra, who featured for France as they got to the last 8 of the just concluded 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, reflected happily on his time with United, where he made 379 appearances and scored 10 goals for the club since he joined in January 2006.

He said of his departure: “After a great deal of thought I have decided the time is right for me to leave Manchester United. It is the biggest decision of my career as this club is, and will always remain, in my heart.

“Joining and playing for Manchester United has been a privilege, a dream come true and my time here has been so memorable. Through the good times and the bad times we have all stuck together and remained loyal. I have always said you don’t just join Manchester United, you join the family and long may that tradition continue.

“This club is steeped in history and I feel privileged to have become a part of that. Over the past nine years I have met and worked with some incredible people, many of whom will remain friends for life. I would like to thank everyone at the club – teammates, coaches and in particular all the staff who made every single day in Carrington or at Old Trafford a special day.

He also thanked former manager, Sir Alex Ferguson and the club’s fans.

“An immense thank you to Sir Alex for making it all possible, for giving me the privilege to be a captain and to understand that nobody is bigger than the club”, he said.

“My biggest thanks go to the fans. We have had some fantastic times together and every single time I stepped out in that shirt I knew I was playing for a very special club.

“My passion for this club will live on and I know you guys will go on to enjoy more success in the coming seasons.”

It is understood that the Serie A Champion would pay an initial £1.2m for Evra, plus an extra £300,000 if they qualify for the Champions League in 2015-16.

Evra won five Premier League titles, three League Cup triumphs as well as an UEFA Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup winner’s medal.

Juventus D.G. says club is not interested in Drogba

Giuseppe Marotta the Director General of Italian giants Juventus has declared that the club does not have any interest whatsoever in signing former Chelsea forward now plying his trade for Shanghai Shenhua Didier Drogba.

Juventus we hear is said to be monitoring Roma’s Pablo Osvaldo and Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente.

Didier Drogba we hear is not happy in his new club and because of this the Ivory Coast international has been linked to Turin to probably join Juventus so as to strengthen the squad with some firepower which the Ivorian is known for during his day at the London club.

This information prompted the reaction of the Juventus Director General saying the former Chelsea striker is not one of the candidates to strengthen the Serie A leaders’ attack in the January transfer window.

He said further that Juventus has never considered making a move for Drogba, that it is just a rumour and speculation.

Del Piero moves to Sydney FC

It can now be confirmed now that foremost Juventus player Alessandro Del Piero will be moving to Australia to play his trade for Sydney FC in a transfer deal worth $4 million after so much speculation, confirmations, retractions and negotiations as he has also become the most expensive football player from anywhere in the world to play in Australia particularly the A-League.

The $2 million a season contract was concluded last night in an event that had been as eagerly awaited in Italy as it has been in Australia, as the Juventus frontman appeared at a press conference beside Tony Pignata the chief executive of  Sydney in Turin at the Principi Hotel.

Sydney’s interest in Del Piero was revealed exclusively a week ago, and the club went public that a deal had been agreed last Friday, only for all parties to cool on that talk at the weekend, insisting there was more work to be done before the contract was signed.

After the deal was concluded last night around 8pm Australian time, Del Piero in confirming the deal at the press conference said ‘For the next two years, I am Australian, so to speak’.

The 37-year-old declared he will be spreading the word of football in Australia and that while he would keep his house and business in Italy, he wouldn’t be treating his A-League stint ”like a holiday”.

Club chairman Scott Barlow added it was a landmark day for the club owned by his father-in-law David Traktovenko, who is also the man who put up the massive wages to make the signing a reality.

“This signing is a major coup for Sydney FC, and marks a historic day for football in this country,” he said. “This is for all Australian football fans.

“Alessandro Del Piero is a global icon of the game, and we are honoured he has chosen Sydney FC, ahead of many other options, as the club where he will begin the next chapter of his illustrious football career.”

Del Piero began his professional career with Padova in 1991 but would make only 14 appearances there before making the switch to Juventus as a 19-year-old. It was there with the ”Old Lady” that Del Piero’s star shone brighter than anyone dared dream during an incredible stint spanning two decades.

He boasted a magnificent record of 208 goals in 513 league matches – and then scored a further 25 goals in 56 Italia Cup matches and another 53 goals in 129 European matches, all despite playing the majority of his career as a trequartista – a link player behind the strikers.

Despite his age, and despite being released at the end of last season, Del Piero still played 28 matches and scored five goals for Juventus – a season when they went undefeated in the league.

He is expected to move to Sydney in two weeks’ time, giving him a fortnight’s preparation before the Sky Blues’ first match of the new season, against Wellington Phoenix.

 

Chelsea to face Juventus in Champions’ League group

Chelsea; last season’s Champions League winner and a first timer in the realm of Champions League winners has been pitched against Italian giants Juventus in the race to defending their title which they were crowned with last season in the group stages of the competition.

Last season EPL champions Manchester City has also been fixed to face Spanish giants Real Madrid who has been said to have been handed the toughest of all the draws by pundits because Real Madrid will be locking horns with three league champions in Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund and Ajax in Group D.

The Spanish champion beat Ajax 3-0 both home and away in last season’s competition as it will be itching to bid for a record 10th title at home against the Premier League champions.

Champions League winner Chelsea will begin the defense of its title at home against Italian giant Juventus, while Real Madrid will face Manchester City in the tournament’s toughest group.

The group stage pitched the holders against a Juventus side that stormed to the Serie A title and was unbeaten in all competitions last season apart from the Italian Cup final was done today.

Group E includes Shakhtar Donetsk and Champions League debutant Nordsjaelland of Denmark.

With all four teams winning their leagues last year, it is no surprise Group D has been pinpointed as the toughest group.

Juventus should qualify for the knockout stage, along with Chelsea, which knocked the Serie A side out of the competition in 2009.

Meanwhile, Nordsjaelland is expected to do little more than make up the numbers in Group E.

Bayern Munich, last season’s runner-up, is in Group F with Valencia as well as Lille and BATE Borisov.

Four-time winner Barcelona faces Benfica, Spartak Moscow and Celtic.

Manchester United, which failed to clear the group stage last season, also has a relatively weak group with Braga, Galatasaray and Cluj.

Seven-time winner AC Milan was drawn with Zenit St. Petersburg, Anderlecht and Malaga – another Champions League debutant.

French champion Montpellier makes its debut in the competition against Arsenal, Schalke and Olympiakos. Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud scored 21 goals for Montpellier last season, finishing as the joint top scorer in the French league.

Big-spending Paris Saint-Germain returns to the Champions League after an eight-year absence and will play Porto, Dynamo Kiev and Dinamo Zagreb.

AC Milan in talks with Man. City over Dzeko – Agent

Bosnia and Herzegovina international Edin Dzeko’s agent, Sead Susic has confirmed that Italian Giant AC Milan are in transfer talk with recent EPL winners Manchester City over the striker.

This is coming after the agreed transfer of Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Paris Saint-Germain in a reported 23-million-euro deal by the Italian giants.

Dzeko’s transfer to Milan is more than likely because there’s an urgent need for a replacement which why Edin Dzeko is AC Milan’s main priority right now, his agent Sead Susic said.

Dzeko signed for the Premier League club only last off-season after impressing at Wolfsburg, but it is believed that he has been deemed surplus to requirements by City manager Roberto Mancini.

Sead said there has been continued talks and the conclusion of talks will be in the next few days as Dezeko himself love the Serie A and AC Milan too apart from that, the deal is 70% possible.