Juventus wins 1-0 at Sampdoria but loses Dybala to injury

 19 Mar 2017 - 20:02

Juventus wins 1-0 at Sampdoria but loses Dybala to injury
Juventus' Colombian forward Juan Cuadrado (R) celebrates with Juventus' Argentinian forward Paulo Dybala after scoring a goal during the Italian Serie A football match Sampdoria versus Juventus on March 19, 2017 at the Luigi Ferraris stadium in Genova. / AFP / MIGUEL MEDINA

DANIELLA MATAR | Associated Press

MILAN: Juventus ground out a 1-0 win at Sampdoria on Sunday but will be left counting the cost after losing Paulo Dybala to injury ahead of a tough run of matches.

Massimiliano Allegri's side remained on course for an unprecedented sixth successive Serie A title as it maintained its 10-point advantage over Napoli and moved 11 clear of Roma, which can reduce the gap slightly with a win over Sassuolo later.

However, Dybala limped off shortly before the half-hour mark with a muscle problem.

It will be a worry for Juventus which plays Napoli in the league after the international break and then in the second leg of their Italian Cup semifinal which it leads 3-1. It hosts Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal on April 11.

Juan Cuadrado scored the only goal of the match in the seventh minute, heading in Kwadwo Asamoah's cross.

Reserve goalkeeper Christian Puggioni was in for the suspended Emiliano Viviano and he pulled off several fine saves to deny Gonzalo Higuain as well as Marko Pjaca, who had replaced Dybala.

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon set a new club record when he passed 39,681 Serie A minutes for the Bianconeri.



Napoli risked losing a three-goal lead but held on for its first win at the Stadio Castellani on coach Maurizio Sarri's return to his old club.

Dries Mertens, who had missed an early penalty, netted his 20th league goal this season and Lorenzo Insigne scored twice to give Napoli a commanding lead before Empoli hit back through former Napoli player Omar El Kaddouri and Massimo Maccarone.

Napoli moved a point above Roma, for a few hours at least, while Empoli remained seven points above the bottom three.

The visitors were awarded a controversial penalty in the sixth minute when Mertens was fouled by Andrea Costa, althought it was unclear whether the challenge was inside the box.

Mertens' spot kick was parried by Lukasz Skorupski.

Costa was at fault for Napoli's opener in the 19th as he headed Faouzi Ghoulam's cross to Insigne, who slotted home from close range.

Mertens atoned for his penalty miss five minutes later as he lifted a stunning free kick into the top right corner.

It was his 18th goal in his past 15 matches.

Napoli was awarded another penalty eight minutes from halftime and this time Insigne stepped up to convert after Manuel Pasqual tripped Jose Callejon.

Empoli had only scored 15 goals all season but got one back in the 70th when El Kaddouri curled in a free kick.

Maccarone set up a tense finale when he converted a penalty eight minutes from time after Ghoulam tripped Rade Krunic. It was his 100th goal for the club.



Lazio's five-match winning run came to an end as it was held to a goalless draw at Cagliari to dent its hopes of sneaking into the Champions League.

Lazio moved five points behind Roma.

Atalanta closed to within two points of Lazio with a 3-0 win over relegation-threatened Pescara. Alejandro Gomez scored twice and set up the other for Alberto Grassi as Atalanta bounced back from last weekend's 7-1 defeat at Inter Milan.

Nikola Kalinic scored in the final minute for the second successive match as Fiorentina won 1-0 at Crotone, while Bologna beat Chievo Verona 4-1.