Ten men Sampdoria came from behind to inflict a shock 2-1 defeat on Antonio Conte’s Juventus at the Juventus Stadium.
Juve were the dominant force of the first period and Sebastian Giovinco gave the Bianconeri the lead from the penalty spot on 24 minutes before Gaetano Berardi saw red just after the half hour mark.
The hosts began the second half with the lion’s share of possession but a double from Mauro Icardi gave Delio Rossi his first win as Sampdoria boss.
The win means Sampdoria pull clear of the relegation zone into fourteenth place while Juve’s lead at the top of the table is cut to five points following Lazio’s win against Cagliari on Saturday evening.
A run of four wins in a row sent Juventus to the winter break with an eight point advantage over a chasing pack headed by Lazio, but they were without the suspended Stephan Lichtsteiner and the injured Giorgio Chiellini, Simone Pepe and Nicklas Bendtner for the visit of Sampdoria.
Rossi had yet to gain a win since taking over from Ciro Ferrara last month and travelled to Turin just two points above the relegation zone. The former Fiorentina manager set his side up to be hard to break down against Serie A’s outstanding team.
For much of the early part of the match, the tactic worked with Juventus only creating two half-chances in the opening twenty minutes – both of which fell to Giovinco
First he got under an effort that flew over the bar before Sergio Romero slung out a hand to deflect an effort over for a corner.
The Blucerchiati threatened intermittently but rarely put the goal of Gianluigi Buffon under any serious threat, and Juve’s continued probing paid dividends when Gaetano Berardi hauled Claudio Marchisio down in the box.
Giovinco confidently stroked the penalty past Romero to give the hosts the lead.
Berardi was carded for giving away the penalty and the game looked more or less over as a contest when he scythed down Andrea Barzagli with just over half an hour gone to receive a second yellow.
With a numerical disadvantage, the visitors dropped deeper to try to stem the flow and they restricted the reigning champions to operating on the wings and in the channels.
However, Antonio Conte’s men were denied a clear penalty having put together a move of genuine quality involving Marchisio, Giovinco and Alessandro Matri with 36 minutes on the clock.
Matri got the wrong side of Angelo Palombo, who appeared to drag him down but referee Paolo Valeri waved away the penalty appeals as Juventus went to the interval with a one goal advantage.
The hosts made the early running in the second-half but were hit on the break with 52 minutes on the clock when Icardi latched on to a Nenad Krsticic ball over the shoulder of debutant Federico Peluso; although well struck, a goalkeeper of Buffon’s calibre should have done better with the strike than let it through his grasp.
The Bianconeri poured forward in search of the winner against the ten men but, in doing so, they collectively abandoned their defensive duties and Pedro Obiang made the most of the extra space afforded in midfield when he charged forward and found Icardi in space in the box.
The Argentine took a touch, steadied himself before unleashing an unstoppable effort into the top corner from an acute angle to give the visitors a lead with 68 minutes gone.
Conte had elected to introduce Fabio Quagliarella and Mirko Vucinic after the concession of the equaliser and it was the two substitutes who brought the hosts closest to a leveller but the Montenegrin could only manage to poke a Quagliarella header back across goal wide of the post on 72 minutes.
The hosts laid siege to the Sampdoria goal but were unable to fashion another chance of note as Conte’s Juventus - whose 94 point haul in 2012 was a club record - begun 2013 in ignominious fashion with a loss.
- Sports & Recreation
- Sebastian Giovinco